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The following section contains subjective comments about the system that represent our editor's opinions, and should not be viewed as fact. Editor's opinions include positive and negative judgments about the product written in consideration of wider context, including related products and the industry at large.
Questel-Orbit is named after the merger of two parent companies, the French company Questel and the US company Orbit, in 1994. The Orbit portion of Questel-Orbit is a patent information provider with a long history: the Orbit portion of Questel-Orbit was developed for the National Library of Medicine, and a commercial version became available to the public as early as 1972. An overview of the merger and subsequent combining of the Questel and Orbit systems in 2000 was given by Nancy Lambert in a February 2000 article for Searcher magazine.
MMS itself is a project based on the collaboration of the French Patent Office (INPI) and Derwent (a division of Thomson Reuters). Both of these entities are well-established, and both files (WPIM and MPharm) have been actively indexed since their inception in 1987. The data that is now contained under the umbrella of MMS is extremely valuable to chemical structure searching, and as long as the online patent search industry is active, it is very unlikely that this database could become irrelevant anytime soon. Its status as one of the few independently produced generic structure searching tools assures that searchers will always need to consult it, especially in high-stakes legal investigations on the novelty of new compounds.
In December of 2007, it was announced that the investment firm SG Capital Europe took over Questel in a leveraged buyout operation (LBO). At this time the company also announced that 80% of Questel employees remained shareholders. This operation may spur the company to expand its business and stay interested in new opportunities for development.
ChemAxon, which produces the JChem platform that now supports Markush DARC records, specializes in creating chemical software development platforms for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. ChemAxon partnered with Thomson Reuters in January 2011, where Thomson Reuters made Markush DARC records accessible to ChemAxon’s JChem users. This partnership has provided MMS users with a stronger search interface that has revolutionary new features like Markush enumeration, Markush hit reduction, and filtration of enumerations based on chemical attributes. ChemAxon is constantly upgrading its JChem platform with new features, and the platform will only continue to improve with planned new features like result ranking.
- ↑ Lambert, Nancy. “Orbit and Questel-Orbit: Farewell and Hail.” Searcher, Vol.8, No.2. February 2000.
- ↑ "About ChemAxon." Chem Axon website, http://www.chemaxon.com/about/. Accessed July 30, 2011.
- ↑ Thomson Reuters and ChemAxon Partner to Help Speed Drug Discovery for Life Science Researchers." Thomson Reuters website, http://thomsonreuters.com/content/press_room/legal/376030. Published January 30, 2011. Accessed on July 30, 2011.