Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Thomson buys publicly-funded OA database

Thomson Scientific has bought Unleashed Informatics.  The purchase includes BIND (Biomolecular Interaction Network Database), a formerly OA database.  (Thanks to John Wilbanks.)  From today's press release:

The Thomson Corporation today announced that its Scientific business unit has acquired privately-held Unleashed Informatics Ltd, a life sciences data management company. Unleashed Informatics is the market leader in bioinformatics data and owns the largest repository of value-added bioinformatics records a highly significant area for target-based drug discovery....

Unleashed Informatics is highly regarded for its subscription-based stable of public and proprietary biological databases, including:

  • BIND (Biomolecular Interaction Network Database) containing 200,000 biomolecular interactions
  • SMID (Small Molecule Interaction Database) containing over 23 million experimentally observed small molecule interactions
  • BOND (Biomolecular Object Network Database) data warehouse that combines access to BIND and SMID data with publicly-accessible databases, plus similarity search algorithms

Over 11,000 researchers in more than 3,000 organizations worldwide rely on content, tools and analytics from Unleashed Informatics to advance their life sciences investigations. Thomson will continue to make complimentary versions of BOND and BIND available to Unleashed Open Access registrants....

Comment.  BIND was originally developed by Blueprint, a non-profit organization funded by IBM and a handful of Canadian medical institutes, including the U of Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital.  Significant funding came from Canadian taxpayers, for example CDN $29 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and perhaps more from Genome Canada.  Bind was OA.  In December 2005, Blueprint sold BIND to Unleashed Informatics, which maintained an OA edition and introduced a priced edition.  Now Thomson has bought Unleashed Informatics.  Thomson promises to "continue to make complimentary versions of BOND and BIND available to Unleashed Open Access registrants" but doesn't say whether it will accept new registrants.