MILFORD, Mass.—Waters Corp. and Munich, Germany-based InfoChem GmbH announced last month that Waters would include InfoChem's reaction search technology based on Chemistry Cartridge in future generations of its eLab Notebook software. With InfoChem's technology included, users of eLab Notebook will be able to use search a vast library of chemical reactions and the reaction pathways to more efficiently design synthesis experiments.
"InfoChem is a search technology and a knowledge base that includes up to 4.5 million reactions and chemical compounds derived from recent publications," says Thorsten Froehlich, director, worldwide informatics marketing for Waters. "For instance, if you want to synthesize a certain compound and find a good way to do that, all you have to do is search for the compound in the database."
ELab Notebook customers who choose the InfoChem technology as part of the software package can also make a choice whether to receive only the current chemical structures and compounds as a one-shot deal, or to subscribe to the service which continually updates the database based on recently published work. Depending on publishing activity, Froehlich says the database grows each year by as many 45,000 compounds.
"Our Chemistry Cartridge has proven its exceptional searching and indexing performance with more than 20 million different structures," says Peter Loew, Ph.D., managing director, InfoChem GmbH. "Additionally, we offer customers the possibility of licensing more than four million structures and more than three million chemical reactions in this technology."
In addition, Froehlich says chemists can search for chemical bonds with specific characteristics. "So if a scientist is looking for particular bond to break and wants to build a particular bond, this technology is able to map it automatically and find only those reactions the chemist is really interested in," he says. "So it is much closer to a chemical thinking process than it is with traditional search technologies."
By including the InfoChem technology, Waters hopes to spur sales of its eLab Notebook to chemists performing synthesis work and experiments, just one segment of the broader scientific research community the company counts as potential customers.
"The eLab Notebook, as it is today, is the only horizontal application serving the complete range of laboratories out there," says Froehlich. "So it will also work in microbiology, medicinal chemistry — any area where you are interested in moving from paper to electronic (records)."
Waters, meanwhile, continues to add functionality and options to eLab Notebook as it looks to build critical mass among the scientific community.