We have developed a novel structure-based chemoinformatics approach to search for Complimentary Ligands Based on Receptor Information (CoLiBRI). CoLiBRI is based on the representation of both receptor binding sites and their respective ligands in a space of universal chemical descriptors. The binding site atoms involved in the interaction with ligands are identified by the means of a computational geometry technique known as Delaunay tessellation as applied to X-ray characterized ligand-receptor complexes. TAE/RECON multiple chemical descriptors are calculated independently for each ligand as well as for its active site atoms. The representation of both ligands and active sites using chemical descriptors allows the application of well-known chemometric techniques in order to correlate chemical similarities between active sites and their respective ligands. We have established a protocol to map patterns of nearest neighbor active site vectors in a multidimensional TAE/RECON space onto those of their complementary ligands and vice versa. This protocol affords the prediction of a virtual complementary ligand vector in the ligand chemical space from the position of a known active site vector. This prediction is followed by chemical similarity calculations between this virtual ligand vector and those calculated for molecules in a chemical database to identify real compounds most similar to the virtual ligand. Consequently, the knowledge of the receptor active site structure affords straightforward and efficient identification of its complementary ligands in large databases of chemical compounds using rapid chemical similarity searches. Conversely, starting from the ligand chemical structure, one may identify possible complementary receptor cavities as well. We have applied the CoLiBRI approach to a data set of 800 X-ray characterized ligand-receptor complexes in the PDBbind database. Using a k nearest neighbor (kNN) pattern recognition approach and variable selection, we have shown that knowledge of the active site structure affords identification of its complimentary ligand among the top 1% of a large chemical database in over 90% of all test active sites when a binding site of the same protein family was present in the training set. In the case where test receptors are highly dissimilar and not present among the receptor families in the training set, the prediction accuracy is decreased; however, CoLiBRI was still able to quickly eliminate 75% of the chemical database as improbable ligands. CoLiBRI affords rapid prefiltering of a large chemical database to eliminate compounds that have little chance of binding to a receptor active site. © 2006 American Chemical Society.