Digital Science, a division of Macmillan Science & Education, is donating the SureChem collection of >15million chemical structures from world patents into the public domain through the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI). It is the first time a world patent chemistry collection has been made publicly available, marking a significant advance in Open Data for use in drug discovery. This transfer will give researchers around the globe access to a vast new source of medicinally relevant compounds related to the curing of human disease.
SureChem, developed by Digital Science, extracts chemical structure data from the full text and images of patents. This makes it easier to check whether a newly developed drug or other product is actually novel. Previously held within commercial systems and inaccessible to most researchers, this important life science data source is now freely available from EMBL-EBI as SureChEMBL.
Nicko Goncharoff, Digital Science: “Our mission is to give researchers better tools and services and from the start Digital Science has preferred solutions that support Open Science and Open Data communities whenever possible. By placing this collection into the trusted hands of EMBL-EBI, we’re opening up an entire new class of life science data to the public that has previously been locked behind paywalls, and inaccessible for data mining. We couldn’t think of a better home for SureChem, anywhere.
John Overington, Head of Chemical Biology at EMBL-EBI: “Patents are the foundation of high-tech enterprise and innovation and form the basis of the knowledge economy. We hope that making chemical patents more discoverable in the public domain will considerably speed up the identification of promising molecules. This new source of data will be a major boost to translational research and the discovery of novel bioactive molecules. By putting all this data together in a structured way with other EBI resources, we can help increase competitive innovation.”
Academic researchers particularly stand to benefit from SureChEMBL, notes chemistry luminary Christopher Lipinski, Scientific Advisor, Melior Discovery: “Having the SureChem patented chemical structures freely available to researchers would by itself be an excellent idea. Having the interface through EMBL-EBI is an even better idea, since the new SureChem interface takes advantage of EMBL-EBI’s nearly 20 years’ expertise in technical and professional aspects of interfacing data sets, internal analysis and customer service to the broad genomic, chemo-bioinformatic, chemical biology and drug-discovery communities.”
SureChEMBL joins a wide array of connected life-science informatics resources at EMBL-EBI (www.ebi.ac.uk/services), which offers a comprehensive source of freely available molecular data. Today’s transfer opens the door to integrating disease and drug-target data in more meaningful ways, enhancing links between chemical structures and other biological data and their discoverability through the scientific literature.
Researchers working in the public and private domain are invited to explore these data at www.surechembl.org
About EMBL: The European Molecular Biology Laboratory is a basic research institute funded by public research monies from 20 member states (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom) and associate member state Australia. Research at EMBL is conducted by approximately 85 independent groups covering the spectrum of molecular biology. The Laboratory has five units: the main Laboratory in Heidelberg, and Outstations in Hinxton (the European Bioinformatics Institute), Grenoble, Hamburg, and Monterotondo near Rome. The cornerstones of EMBL’s mission are: to perform basic research in molecular biology; to train scientists, students and visitors at all levels; to offer vital services to scientists in the member states; to develop new instruments and methods in the life sciences and to actively engage in technology transfer activities. Around 190 students are enrolled in EMBL’s International PhD programme. Additionally, the Laboratory offers a platform for dialogue with the general public through various science communica¬tion activities such as lecture series, visitor programmes and the dissemination of scientific achievements. www.embl.org
About EMBL-EBI: The European Bioinformatics Institute is part of EMBL, Europe’s flagship laboratory for the life sciences. EMBL-EBI provides freely available data from life science experiments covering the full spectrum of molecular biology, and about 20% of the institute is devoted to investigator-led research using computational approaches to unravel the secrets of life. Our extensive training programme helps researchers in academia and industry to make the most of the incredible amount of data being produced every day in life science ex¬periments. We are a non-profit, intergovernmental organisation funded by EMBL member states. Our 500 staff hail from 43 countries, and we welcome a regular stream of visiting scientists throughout the year. We are located on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus in Hinxton, Cambridge in the United Kingdom. www.ebi.ac.uk
About Digital Science: Launched in December 2010, Digital Science combines world-class technology with a resolute focus on scientists and those who support the research process. It is operated by Macmillan Science & Education – one of the largest and best known international publishing groups in the world; characterised by high-quality academic, scholarly and educational businesses. The division employs more than 5000 people operating in more than 50 countries around the world, supporting scientists, professors, teachers, journalists, editors, writers and entrepreneurs to empower learning and discovery.