Unique Ingredient Identifier

Last updated

The Unique Ingredient Identifier (UNII) is an alphanumeric identifier linked to a substance's molecular structure or descriptive information and is generated by the Global Substance Registration System (GSRS) of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It classifies substances as chemical, protein, nucleic acid, polymer, structurally diverse, or mixture [1] [2] according to the standards outlined by the International Organization for Standardization in ISO 11238 [3] and ISO DTS 19844. [4] UNIIs are non-proprietary, unique, unambiguous, and free to generate and use. [2] A UNII can be generated for substances at any level of complexity, being broad enough to include "any substance, from an atom to an organism." [1]


The GSRS is used to generate permanent, unique identifiers for substances in regulated products, such as ingredients in drug and biological products. The GSRS uses molecular structure, protein and nucleic sequences and descriptive information to generate the UNII. The preferred means for defining a chemical substance is by its two-dimensional molecular structure since it is pertinent to a substance's identity and information regarding a substance's stereochemistry is readily available. [5] Nucleic acids are defined by their sequences and by any modifications that may be present. In the case of proteins only end-group modifications will be uniquely identified, along with any other modifications that are essential for activity. This is because of the inherently heterogenous nature of proteins. Therefore, two different protein substances can share the same UNII and yet have no biosimilarity or therapeutic equivalence. [5] Polymers are defined by their structural repeating units and physical properties such as molecular weight or properties related to molecular weight (e.g. viscosity). Structurally diverse materials are inherently heterogenous preparations from natural materials such as plant extract and vaccines. [2]

The GSRS is a freely distributable software system provided through a collaboration between the FDA, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). [1] The GSRS was developed to implement the ISO 11238 standard which is one of the core ISO Identification of Medicinal Product (IDMP) standards. The GSRS Board which governs the GSRS includes experts from FDA, European Regulatory Agencies, and the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP). [1]


Preferred TermUNII
Methadone hydrochloride 229809935B
Methadone UC6VBE7V1Z
Oxygen S88TT14065
Hydrogen 7YNJ3PO35Z
Water 059QF0KO0R

Related Research Articles

Biochemistry Study of chemical processes in living organisms

Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organisms. A sub-discipline of both chemistry and biology, biochemistry may be divided into three fields: structural biology, enzymology and metabolism. Over the last decades of the 20th century, biochemistry has become successful at explaining living processes through these three disciplines. Almost all areas of the life sciences are being uncovered and developed through biochemical methodology and research. Biochemistry focuses on understanding the chemical basis which allows biological molecules to give rise to the processes that occur within living cells and between cells, in turn relating greatly to the understanding of tissues and organs, as well as organism structure and function. Biochemistry is closely related to molecular biology, which is the study of the molecular mechanisms of biological phenomena.

Biopolymer Polymer produced by a living organism

Biopolymers are natural polymers produced by the cells of living organisms. Biopolymers consist of monomeric units that are covalently bonded to form larger molecules. There are three main classes of biopolymers, classified according to the monomers used and the structure of the biopolymer formed: polynucleotides, polypeptides, and polysaccharides. Polynucleotides, such as RNA and DNA, are long polymers composed of 13 or more nucleotide monomers. Polypeptides and proteins, are polymers of amino acids and some major examples include collagen, actin, and fibrin. Polysaccharides are linear or branched polymeric carbohydrates and examples include starch, cellulose and alginate. Other examples of biopolymers include natural rubbers, suberin and lignin, cutin and cutan and melanin.

Nucleic acid Class of large biomolecules essential to all known life

Nucleic acids are biopolymers, macromolecules, essential to all known forms of life. They are composed of nucleotides, which are the monomers made of three components: a 5-carbon sugar, a phosphate group and a nitrogenous base. The two main classes of nucleic acids are deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA). If the sugar is ribose, the polymer is RNA; if the sugar is the ribose derivative deoxyribose, the polymer is DNA.

Protein primary structure Linear sequence of amino acids in a peptide or protein

Protein primary structure is the linear sequence of amino acids in a peptide or protein. By convention, the primary structure of a protein is reported starting from the amino-terminal (N) end to the carboxyl-terminal (C) end. Protein biosynthesis is most commonly performed by ribosomes in cells. Peptides can also be synthesized in the laboratory. Protein primary structures can be directly sequenced, or inferred from DNA sequences.

Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis

Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) is a technique widely used in biochemistry, forensic chemistry, genetics, molecular biology and biotechnology to separate biological macromolecules, usually proteins or nucleic acids, according to their electrophoretic mobility. Electrophoretic mobility is a function of the length, conformation and charge of the molecule. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis is a powerful tool used to analyze RNA samples. When polyacrylamide gel is denatured after electrophoresis, it provides information on the sample composition of the RNA species.

Macromolecule Very large molecule, such as a protein

A macromolecule is a very large molecule important to biophysical processes, such as a protein or nucleic acid. It is composed of thousands of covalently bonded atoms. Many macromolecules are polymers of smaller molecules called monomers. The most common macromolecules in biochemistry are biopolymers and large non-polymeric molecules such as lipids, nanogels and macrocycles. Synthetic fibers and experimental materials such as carbon nanotubes are also examples of macromolecules.

Polyethylene glycol Chemical compound

Polyethylene glycol (PEG; ) is a polyether compound derived from petroleum with many applications, from industrial manufacturing to medicine. PEG is also known as polyethylene oxide (PEO) or polyoxyethylene (POE), depending on its molecular weight. The structure of PEG is commonly expressed as H−(O−CH2−CH2)n−OH.

Monoclonal antibody Antibodies from clones of the same blood cell

A monoclonal antibody is an antibody made by cloning a unique white blood cell. All subsequent antibodies derived this way trace back to a unique parent cell.

Structural bioinformatics Bioinformatics subfield

Structural bioinformatics is the branch of bioinformatics that is related to the analysis and prediction of the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules such as proteins, RNA, and DNA. It deals with generalizations about macromolecular 3D structures such as comparisons of overall folds and local motifs, principles of molecular folding, evolution, binding interactions, and structure/function relationships, working both from experimentally solved structures and from computational models. The term structural has the same meaning as in structural biology, and structural bioinformatics can be seen as a part of computational structural biology. The main objective of structural bioinformatics is the creation of new methods of analysing and manipulating biological macromolecular data in order to solve problems in biology and generate new knowledge.

An excipient is a substance formulated alongside the active ingredient of a medication, included for the purpose of long-term stabilization, bulking up solid formulations that contain potent active ingredients in small amounts, or to confer a therapeutic enhancement on the active ingredient in the final dosage form, such as facilitating drug absorption, reducing viscosity, or enhancing solubility. Excipients can also be useful in the manufacturing process, to aid in the handling of the active substance concerns such as by facilitating powder flowability or non-stick properties, in addition to aiding in vitro stability such as prevention of denaturation or aggregation over the expected shelf life. The selection of appropriate excipients also depends upon the route of administration and the dosage form, as well as the active ingredient and other factors. A comprehensive classification system based on structure-property-application relationships has been proposed for excipients used in parenteral medications.

Aptamer Oligonucleotide or peptide molecules

Aptamers are oligonucleotide or peptide molecules that bind to a specific target molecule. They are usually identified in a process called SELEX. Natural aptamers also exist in riboswitches.

KEGG Collection of bioinformatics databases

KEGG is a collection of databases dealing with genomes, biological pathways, diseases, drugs, and chemical substances. KEGG is utilized for bioinformatics research and education, including data analysis in genomics, metagenomics, metabolomics and other omics studies, modeling and simulation in systems biology, and translational research in drug development.

The history of molecular biology begins in the 1930s with the convergence of various, previously distinct biological and physical disciplines: biochemistry, genetics, microbiology, virology and physics. With the hope of understanding life at its most fundamental level, numerous physicists and chemists also took an interest in what would become molecular biology.

SUMO protein

Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier proteins are a family of small proteins that are covalently attached to and detached from other proteins in cells to modify their function. This process is called SUMOylation. SUMOylation is a post-translational modification involved in various cellular processes, such as nuclear-cytosolic transport, transcriptional regulation, apoptosis, protein stability, response to stress, and progression through the cell cycle.

Biomolecular structure 3D conformation of a biological sequence, like DNA, RNA, proteins

Biomolecular structure is the intricate folded, three-dimensional shape that is formed by a molecule of protein, DNA, or RNA, and that is important to its function. The structure of these molecules may be considered at any of several length scales ranging from the level of individual atoms to the relationships among entire protein subunits. This useful distinction among scales is often expressed as a decomposition of molecular structure into four levels: primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary. The scaffold for this multiscale organization of the molecule arises at the secondary level, where the fundamental structural elements are the molecule's various hydrogen bonds. This leads to several recognizable domains of protein structure and nucleic acid structure, including such secondary-structure features as alpha helixes and beta sheets for proteins, and hairpin loops, bulges, and internal loops for nucleic acids. The terms primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structure were introduced by Kaj Ulrik Linderstrøm-Lang in his 1951 Lane Medical Lectures at Stanford University.

In molecular biology and genetics, the sense of a nucleic acid molecule, particularly of a strand of DNA or RNA, refers to the nature of the roles of the strand and its complement in specifying a sequence of amino acids. Depending on the context, sense may have slightly different meanings. For example, negative-sense strand of DNA is equivalent to the template strand, whereas the positive-sense strand is the non-template strand whose nucleotide sequence is equivalent to the sequence of the mRNA transcript.

Analyte-specific reagents (ASRs) are a class of biological molecules which can be used to identify and measure the amount of an individual chemical substance in biological specimens.

Residue (chemistry)

In chemistry, residue is whatever remains or acts as a contaminant after a given class of events.

This glossary of biology terms is a list of definitions of fundamental terms and concepts used in biology, the study of life and of living organisms. It is intended as introductory material for novices; for more specific and technical definitions from sub-disciplines and related fields, see Glossary of genetics, Glossary of evolutionary biology, Glossary of ecology, and Glossary of scientific naming, or any of the organism-specific glossaries in Category:Glossaries of biology.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Substance Registration System - Unique Ingredient Identifier (UNII)". fda.gov. August 30, 2019.
  2. 1 2 3 Peryea, Tyler; Southall, Noel; Miller, Mitch; Katzel, Daniel; Anderson, Niko; Neyra, Jorge; Stemann, Sarah; Nguyễn, Ðắc-Trung; Amugoda, Dammika; Newatia, Archana; Ghazzaoui, Ramez; Johanson, Elaine; Diederik, Herman; Callahan, Larry; Switzer, Frank (November 10, 2020). "Global Substance Registration System: consistent scientific descriptions for substances related to health". Nucleic Acids Research. 49 (D1): D1179–D1185. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkaa962 . ISSN   1362-4962. PMC   7779023 . PMID   33137173.
  3. 14:00-17:00. "ISO 11238:2018". ISO. Retrieved November 25, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. 14:00-17:00. "ISO/TS 19844:2018". ISO. Retrieved November 25, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. 1 2 "Substance Definition Manual". fda.gov. June 10, 2007. Retrieved November 25, 2020.