MDL Information Systems, Inc. was a provider of R&D informatics
products for the life sciences and chemicals industries. The company
was launched as a computer-aided drug design firm (originally named
Molecular Design Limited, Inc.) in January 1978 in Hayward,
California. The company was acquired by Symyx Technologies, Inc. in
1 History 2 Innovations 3 See also 4 References 5 External links
Molecular Design Limited, Inc. was founded by Stuart Marson and W.
Todd Wipke in 1978. 
With 15 years of research on computer synthesis at the University of
California, Santa Cruz, Wipke, with Marson, fresh from a Ph.D. at
Stanford University and a postdoctoral stint at the University of
California, Berkeley, were convinced that computer-assisted molecular
design was possible as a commercial enterprise. Employee #3 was
Stephen Peacock, a colleague of Marson, and #4 was Jim Dill, a
graduate student from Princeton, as was #5, Doug Hounshell, also a
graduate of Princeton.
MDL was the first company to provide interactive graphical registry
and full and substructural retrieval. The company's initial products
were first-of-their-kind systems for storing and retrieving molecules
as graphical structures and for managing databases of chemical
reactions and related data. These systems revolutionized the way
scientists accessed and managed chemical information in the 1980s.
From its initial pioneering of computer handling of graphical chemical
structures with MACCS (Molecular ACCess System) in 1979, MDL continued
at the forefront of the field now known as cheminformatics.
In 1985, MDL moved its corporate headquarters from Hayward to a larger
campus in San Leandro, CA. In 1987, MDL was purchased by Maxwell
In 1993, the company was publicly offered as MDL Information Systems,
Inc. (MDLI) on the NASDAQ stock exchange. In 1997, the company was
purchased by Reed Elsevier, the Anglo-Dutch publisher and information
provider, becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of Elsevier, a publisher
of scientific, technical and medical information. In February 2006,
Commercial system for interactive molecular modeling (PRXBLD, 1979) Commercial system for computer handling of chemical reactions (REACCS, 1982) Commercial system integrating chemical structures with data (MACCS-II, 1984) PC-based chemistry database system, the Chemist's Personal Software Series (CPSS: ChemBase, ChemTalk/ChemHost, 1985) Commercial system integrating chemistry drawing and word processing (ChemText, 1986) Commercial 3D structure database (MACCS-3D, 1988) Commercial system for storing structures of mixtures and formulations (MACCS-II Substance Module, 1989) Commercial client-server system for managing chemical and biological information (MDL ISIS, 1991) Commercial system for structure-based handling of generic structures (MDL Central Library, 1996) Searchable, "live" chemical structures in Web pages (MDL Chime plug-in, MDL Chemscape server, 1996) Commercial system dynamically linking citations to electronic journal articles and patents (MDL LitLink, 1999) Web-based commercial system indexing multiple structure databases and linking to synthetic methodology databases and major reference works (DiscoveryGate, 2002) Software application for predicting potential carcinogenic risk of compounds based on their structures (MDL Carcinogenicity Module, 2003) Complete, open, flexible and scalable n-tier informatics system supporting enterprise-wide business process, data and application integration for the life sciences (MDL Isentris, 2004) Advanced structure drawing with All-Purpose Drawing Tool and custom template toolbars, MDL Draw, 2004) Structure-searchable patent chemistry information (Patent Chemistry Database, 2004) and online pharmacological information (xPharm, 2004) Key laboratory workflow applications (MDL Logistics reagent management application and MDL Notebook electronic laboratory notebook, 2005) Isentris-based application for building and managing compound registries (MDL Registration, 2006) First electronically searchable FDA Drug Approval Packages (PharmaPendium, 2006) Out-of-the-box Reaction Planner for exploring precursor steps, integration of proprietary and commercial data (Isentris 2.0 and 3.0, 2007).
^ Waldrop, Mitch (June 18, 1979). ""Company offers computer-assisted chemistry"". C&EN: 29. In other industries, aircraft and electronics, for example, automated design is taken for granted, so why not chemistry?" said Wipke. "But parts of such a system already exist ^ "Computer-Assisted Design of Complex Organic Syntheses". Science. 166: 178. 1969. doi:10.1126/science.166.3902.178. ^ C&EN, June 18, 1979
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