The Pistoia Alliance is signposting the Hierarchical Editing Language for Macromolecules (HELM) developed at Pfizer as a way to solve the problem with how to consistently represent large molecules, such as proteins, peptides, oligonucleotides, and small molecule drugs. These complex structures have long challenged informatics because they are large enough to be unwieldy and impractical to represent at the atomic level, while the presence of non-natural chemical modifications makes it impossible to represent them by sequence alone. HELM offers a solution, and a group at Pfizer has recently published a paper on this language for macromolecule representation. We urge interested parties to give it a read.
Posted in Pistoia Alliance Blog.