Creative image for Acros Organics chemical probes

De-risk your drug discovery projects with our new range of chemical probes

Chemical probes represent an important component of both academic and pharmaceutical drug discovery research. These compounds reduce the technical or biological risks of pursuing a pathway or target before commencing clinical trials. Chemical probes are essential in the validation of new molecular targets for a therapeutic indication.

Our chemical probes are selective small-molecule modulators of a protein’s function, designed to allow the user to ask mechanistic and phenotypic questions about their molecular target in cell-based or animal studies.

These products are currently available for purchase on

Comparison of small molecule drugs and chemical probes

Chemical probes can be used to help establish the relationship between a molecular target and the broader biological consequences of modulating that target in cells or organisms. Thus, they can be used to discover new biology relating to that target, to clarify the relationship between the target and a phenotype, and to validate that a particular target is a suitable intervention point to impact the progression or outcome of a disease.

They offer a biological rather than a clinical validation of the target:

Must be safe and effectiveAsk a specific biological question
May have undefined MoADefined MoA required
IP restrictions; limited availabilityFreely available (both the physical compound itself and activity data)
Must have human bioavailabilityDrug-like properties, such as bioavailability, not necessarily required
High bar for physicochemical (guidelines for MW, lipophilicity, etc.)
and pharmaceutic properties (stability, reasonable and economic synthesis, defined crystallization form, etc.)
Value is markedly enhanced by use of structurally related inactive and structurally unrelated active compounds


Featured products
Featured webinar
Chemical probes webinar

Choosing and using small-molecule tools to investigate protein targets

Join us as Susanne Müller-Knapp, PhD (Director of Operations, Chemical Probes Portal and Chief Operating Officer, SGC Frankfurt) and Albert Antolin, PhD (Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Cancer Research) provide an overview of chemical probes, advice on their use, and a demonstration of the new Chemical Probes Portal—currently the only expert curated online resource for information and recommendations about the use of chemical probes in biomedical research.

Register now