The Open Targets Platform REST API allows language agnostic access to data available on the Open Targets Platform. The REST API can be accessed from the following URL:

The current set of REST API endpoints can be divided in three methods:

  • Public - Methods that serve the core set of our data e.g. associations and evidence. These methods are stable and unlikely to change.

  • Private - Methods that serve other data in the Open Targets Platform, such as the target profile page and batch search. These methods may not be stable from one release to the next. You should use these at your own risk.

  • Utils - Methods to get statistics on our data and to check if the server is alive.

By default these methods will return the outputs in JSON.

These are some of the parameters for the Open Targets Platform REST API :

  • target - A target identifier listed as an Ensembl gene ID

  • disease - A disease identifier listed as EFO, Orphanet, HP, or MONDO ID

  • datasource - Data source used for target-disease associations

  • format - By defaul the results are returned in JSON but you can retrieve the results as CSV, TAB and XML (depending on the endpoint)

  • direct - It could be true (direct associations) or false (indirect associations)

Not sure how to apply the direct parameter in the REST API call? Head to the blog post Direct versus indirect evidence: should you care?

We can break down a typical Open Targets Platform REST API call as follows:



e.g. public/association/filter


e.g. ?target=ENSG00000163914&size=10000&

Head to our Swagger interface for a list of all available endpoints and parameters. You will also be able to test your queries in an interactive and easy manner before running your application/workflow.

Let's have a look at two examples below: public/evidence/filter and public/search.

Retrieve the evidence used for a set of target-disease associations filtered by specific (optional) parameters.
Path Parameters
200: OK
from: 0,
took: 2,
next: [
data_version: "19.04",
query: {},
total: 1474,
data: [],
size: 15
Look up for a gene or disease identifier. This will replicate the search on the Open Targets Platform website.
Path Parameters
200: OK
from: 0,
took: 126,
data_version: "19.04",
query: {
highlight: true,
fields: null,
datastructure: "default",
format: "json",
size: 23
total: 23,
data: [
data: {
ortholog: {},
top_associations: {},
approved_symbol: "DMD",
description: "Anchors the extracellular matrix to the cytoskeleton via F-actin. Ligand for dystroglycan. Component of the dystrophin-associated glycoprotein complex which accumulates at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) and at a variety of synapses in the peripheral and central nervous systems and has a structural function in stabilizing the sarcolemma. Also implicated in signaling events and synaptic transmission.",
uniprot_accessions: [],
drugs: {},
gene_family_description: "",
name_synonyms: [],
approved_name: "dystrophin",
hgnc_id: "HGNC:2928",
association_counts: {
total: 1251,
direct: 615
ensembl_gene_id: "ENSG00000198947",
symbol_synonyms: [],
biotype: "protein_coding",
full_name: "dystrophin",
type: "target",
id: "ENSG00000198947",
name: "DMD"
score: 2895.4158,
type: "search-object-target",
id: "ENSG00000198947",
highlight: {}

Alternative output formats, such xml, csv and tab, may be also available for some of the methods e.g. /association/filter and /search.

For complex queries with large numbers of parameters, use a POST request instead of GET. POST methods require a body encoded as json.

You can use the following tools with the Open Targets Platform REST API endpoints:

  • Command line (e.g. CURL or HTTPie)

  • Your own application and/or workflow

  • Open Targets Python client

You can also access the Open Targets Platform REST-API with scripts in R.

Check our webinar Take a rest of manual searches with the Open Targets API for an overview of the REST API and examples on some of the API queries that serve the Open Targets Platform user interface.

Please note that at the time of the recording (Dec 5th 2017), the Open Targets REST API had a different URL than the currently one in use.

You should use:

Check the API tutorials page for the most up-to-date use case examples or head to the Open Targets Blog for Open Targets API Tutorial: Getting Started and Get an association table for your list of genes tutorials.

Please note if you want to try out the tutorials available in the blog, you should amend the URL listed in there to the following:

If you have questions on the Open Targets Platform REST API or need further help, please email us.