SORD and ACD/Labs Present 'Lost Chemistry' to Aid Pharmaceutical Research

First version of SORD compound library for pharmaceutically relevant compounds now commercially available.

Toronto, Canada (February 17, 2010)—In 2006, the organization Selected Organic Reactions Database (SORD) embarked on a program to begin gathering the wealth of valuable information hidden in university libraries around the world. Now, SORD and Advanced Chemistry Development, Inc., (ACD/Labs) are offering the first version of the compound and reaction library as a commercial database available for use with ACD/ChemFolder or ACD/Web Librarian.

The availability of the SOR database provides researchers with a new source of validated chemical reaction data that was previously very difficult, if not impossible, to access. Now placed in an electronic format, and collected in a single source, these chemical structures and reaction data are fully searchable through a variety of structure and text-based searches. The first commercial version of the SORD Database contains thousands of compounds obtained from a host of academic institutions.

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 It is estimated that nearly half of the remaining 40 million reactions have been documented in unpublished theses and dissertations, leaving a rich source of lost, yet validated, chemical reaction data.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."

SORDís initial focus has been to gather those chemical reactions that are relevant to pharmaceutical research. SORD seeks active input from pharmaceutical companies who will use the database to ensure that the format is entirely suitable for data mining.

SORD also makes limited versions of the database freely available to academic institutions that contribute content to the database, and where authors have given permission to make their work public.

Various license and subscription options are available for commercial use of the database.

For more information on how to obtain access to the SOR Database, visit

To learn more about the SORD project and the organization, visit