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ACD/Labs and SORD capture 'lost chemistry'

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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 technology provided by Advanced Chemistry Development (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 past 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 It is estimated that nearly half of the remaining 40 million reactions have been documented in unpublished theses and dissertations, leaving a rich source of lost, yet validated, chemical reaction data.

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.