HELM (Hierarchical Editing Language for Macromolecules) enables the representation of a wide range of biomolecules such as proteins, nucleotides, antibody drug conjugates etc. whose size and complexity render existing small-molecule and sequence-based informatics methodologies impractical or unusable.
Why is this important?
The increase in sophistication of biotherapeutics research has revealed a gap in informatics methodology whereby small-molecule technologies are too unwieldy for representing large molecules, and sequence-based technologies are incapable of representing the growing variety of biomolecular modalities that include modifications such as unnatural monomers (amino acids, nucleotides) and other chemical modifications (e.g. bioconjugates).
What will the project achieve?
The project has published the HELM notation and created a suite of open-source tools all free to all: a toolkit, a webeditor and an antibody editor.
There has been wide adoption and HELM is included in the technical guidance for ISO 11238 TS 19844.
How will the project do this?
We maintain a community to tackle new challenges that arise as HELM expands its reach. We are currently developing our documentation of best practices, extending our guidance around monomer sets and ensuring all adopters are supported.