A paper on the UniChem Widesearch - developed as one of the BioMedBridges data integration pilots by Jon Chambers and colleagues - was just published in the Journal of Cheminformatics.
The web-based service finds and links 60 million related molecules from 21 sources worldwide, addressing the challenge of connecting same things that are represented in slightly different ways and were thus previously hard to find. Collectively, these sources contain information on patents, drug targets, commercial products, bioactivity, pharmacogenetics, and more.
Drug development is slow and expensive; integrating and leveraging these vast information resources helps to answer questions such as what research has been done on a certain compound or whether a drug is worth spending R&D funds on, ultimately saving time and money. Although Open Source resources like UniChem are especially important to SMEs who may not have the budget or expertise for alternatives, this is increasingly true also for large pharma companies.
UniChem widesearch effectively creates a link between ELIXIR and EU-OPENSCREEN. Future development plans include structure visualisation, structure-centric query and the integration of additional sources.
You can read more on UniChem in the second BioMedBridges newsletter.
Jon Chambers, Mark Davies, Anna Gaulton, George Papadatos, Anne Hersey and John P Overington (2014) UniChem: extension of InChI-based compound mapping to salt, connectivity and stereochemistry layers. Journal of Cheminformatics 2014, 6:43, doi:10.1186/s13321-014-0043-5