ACD/Labs and SORD Work to Capture ‘Lost Chemistry’

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The SOR Database to add millions of previously undocumented chemical reactions using ACD/Labs technology.

The Selected Organic Reactions Database (SORD) is tapping into the vast reserves of chemical reaction information from academic research that has been locked away for half a century in theses and dissertations at universities all over the world. Using proprietary technology provided by Advanced Chemistry Development, Inc., (ACD/Labs) millions of these reactions will be processed into an electronic format that is searchable by a variety of parameters and accessible over the internet to users worldwide.

In the last 50 years, more than 50 million chemical reactions have been performed successfully in academic research. Yet only about 10 million of these reactions can be accessed through major commercial chemical reaction databases. It is estimated that nearly half of the remaining 40 million reactions have been documented in unpublished theses and dissertations, leaving a rich source of lost, yet validated, chemical reaction data. “This is what we call lost chemistry,” says Dick Wife, CSO of SORD. “It is big, it is valuable, and SORD is capturing it.”

The initial focus of SORD is on one million chemical reactions that are relevant to pharmaceutical research. In doing so, SORD has the active input from pharmaceutical companies who will use the database to ensure that the format is entirely suitable for data mining. "SORD is also about Open-Access for the academics who supply us with their reaction data lying dormant in theses and dissertations,” adds Wife. “We enjoy their full support in bringing this lost chemistry back to life.”

Antony Williams, VP and Chief Science Officer for ACD/Labs, said, "We see the SOR Database quickly becoming a valuable new resource of chemical reaction data for synthetic organic chemists to data mine. The efforts of SORD are likely to have a major impact in academia and on the way that chemistry will be performed in chemical and pharmaceutical companies. We are delighted to be working with SORD on this exciting program, and look forward to a long term relationship.”

ACD/Labs technology currently provides academics with access to the SOR Database over the Internet. The SOR Database is exposed online utilizing ACD/Web Librarian technology and will be made available shortly on the ChemFolder Enterprise platform. In the Strategic Alliance, the full range of ACD/Labs proprietary tools will be used and further developed to be optimized for the purpose of facile Data Mining.

About SORD

SORD is a company specialized in chemical information and operating at the interface between academics and industry. The company mission is to make accessible the vast amount of validated chemical data contained in Theses and Dissertations. Founded in 2004, this Dutch company brings together experience and expertise accumulated over twenty years in chemical information systems and based on a world-wide academic network. The management of the company is driven by its ability to bring about change in making chemical information accessible to all. For more information on SORD B.V. please go to

About Advanced Chemistry Development

Advanced Chemistry Development, Inc., (ACD/Labs) provides innovative software products to aid in prediction, elucidation, spectroscopic and chromatographic determination as well as database and information management. Combined, ACD/Labs' solutions create an analytical informatics system that provides dramatic feed-forward effects on the chemical and pharmaceutical research process. Founded in 1993, and headquartered in Toronto, Canada, ACD/Labs employs a team of over 100 dedicated individuals whose continual efforts carry ACD/Labs' innovative technologies into pharmaceutical, biotech, chemical, and materials companies throughout the world. Information about Advanced Chemistry Development and its products can be found at


Tara Sinclair


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