By Daria Thorp, President and CEO, ACD/Labs
If you haven’t already heard, it’s our 25th year in business. This milestone has been a magnificent journey achieved by our team’s drive to help the scientific community solve research challenges and accelerate innovation. As regulatory agencies have placed increased pressure on our customers, partners, and collaborators, we’ve stood the test of time by providing software that supports processes and workflows to ensure safety, quality, and data integrity. Our motto this year is Connect—Align—Learn. We aim to connect more with our customers, align with their needs, and learn as much as possible over the next twelve months. As we mark this silver anniversary, I found it only fitting to share 25 achievements we’ve celebrated along the way.
ACD/Labs’ Top 25 Milestones
- In 1994, we opened our first office in Toronto, Canada, with two employees. 25 years later, we have 185 team members; more than 80,000 users; and 4,275 customers from corporate organizations, and academic and government institutions in 89 countries around the world.
- This year we will be delivering our 24th release of software. We continue to enhance the solutions we’ve been working on since 1994 based on the ever-evolving needs of our customers. Version 2018.1 of our software was released in the summer of 2018.
- We launched our first products, including ACD/LogP, ACD/CNMR Predictor, ACD/HNMR Predictor, and ACD/ChemSketch in our first year of business. These software applications are still popular with our users though they’ve seen improvements over the years.
- In 1998–99 we signed our first global license agreements with then GlaxoWellcome, Pfizer, and Astra.
- In 1999 ACD/Name was adopted as the naming standard by Thieme Chemistry and the journal Molecules. A 2006 review ( Eller, Molecules, 11:915–928, 2006) stated “the quality of names that are generated from ACD/Name is second to none.”
- Our scientists have published numerous peer-reviewed publications and co-authored the 'Most Accessed' paper in Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry in 2006.
- We remain privately owned and financially independent so our priorities remain the long-term success and continued satisfaction of our customers.
- We introduced a new generation of technology in 2010 with the Spectrus Platform for analytical data processing and management, while maintaining continuity and support for customers migrating from our original SpecManager platform. Spectrus remains the only platform that processes and manages multi-technique analytical data in most of the major instrument vendor data formats.
- ACD/Labs merged with Pharma Algorithms in 2009 to expand property prediction offerings from PhysChem (pKa, logP, logD, solubility, boiling point, etc.) to include ADME and toxicity. Through the Percepta Platform we deliver industry standard predictions and continue to refine algorithms to broaden applicability and improve accuracy. We’re migrating our technology to align with the future needs of our customers; keep watching for an exciting announcement in the coming months.
- Our professional services team, who take on customizations, integrations, and solution delivery to ensure our solutions match customers’ workflows and informatics infrastructure, has grown to 20 people.
- Our colleagues in the Asia-Pacific region announced their 500th customer in 2016, reflecting how investments in R&D continue to grow in this region.
- In 2002, we expanded ACD/Labs software access within Japan via a distribution agreement with Fujitsu Limited, currently our largest international distributor. ACD/Labs has consolidated distribution channels over the years to offer direct service in most of Europe, North America, South America, China, India, and a number of Asia Pacific countries.
- We’ve received a number of industry recognitions for our technology including:
- Pittcon Bronze award for new technology to help isolate and extract all relevant chromatographic components (including co-eluting peaks) (IntelliXtract) (2006)
- Innovation Award from the Analytical Scientist for Luminata, received 3 months after commercial release (2018)
- ACD/Labs has been recognized for business acumen.
- Recognized as a technology leader for software for the processing and management of spectral data (1999) by Scientific Computing World
- Named one of Canada's Fastest Growing Technology Companies by Deloitte & Touche and making the Fast 500 list for Fastest Growing High-Tech Companies in North America (2001)
- We published over 300 articles and references in peer-reviewed journals and trade magazines (including Technology Networks, GEN, Outsourcing-Pharma, Scientific Computing World, Biocompare, Scientific Computing, R&D Magazine, and more). We continue to be a part of the discussion around industry trends including data integrity, analytical data management, QbD and mitigating risk, and laboratory informatics.
- We received our millionth download of ACD/ChemSketch Freeware in 2009 and are well on our way to our next milestone with over 1.8 million downloads to date. Other contributions to science education over the years: from NMR Processor and LogP freeware, and supporting teams in Chemistry Olympiads; to collaboration with Pearson to provide students with access to NMR Prediction technology, to name just a few.
- We collaborated with the FDA to develop predictive QSAR models to improve the safety of products being brought to market. Collaborations with partners and customers remain important to us.
- Our software helped in the publication of predicted molecular properties for over 12 million chemical structures in the early 2000s—the result of a collaboration with CAS. We partnered with the Royal Society of Chemistry’s ChemSpider to furnish predicted physicochemical properties and chemical nomenclature; and with OpenPhacts to help reduce barriers to drug discovery in industry, small businesses, and academia.
- We launched industry surveys in 2015 and 2017 to further understand the state of analytical data management and share these findings with our customers and the wider market; after all knowledge helps drive positive change. Only from a point of understanding can scientists and their organizations innovate and commercialize their products more efficiently.
- 99% of customers surveyed told us they are impressed with our employees’ knowledge. We strive to help our customers continue to improve and expand their use of our tools through on-site training, the Customer Success information portal, and webinars.
- 93% of respondents to a customer survey we conducted are satisfied with the support provided by our technical support team. Go team! We are truly proud to offer this level of service and strive to exceed customer expectations in the future!
- We have participated in 22 Pittcon meetings and the same number of ENC conferences. We continue to exhibit and present at industry-leading conferences and events every year including SMASH, ASMS, HPLC, PANIC, ACS, OPRD, SmartLab Exchange, and others too numerous to mention. See when we’ll be in your neighborhood in 2019—drop by and wish us “Happy 25th”!
- Our development department has almost doubled in the last 4 years to deliver on our ambitious plans for new product introductions—MetaSense and Luminata are already helping customers share information and manage data more effectively. There’s more to come in the near future—listen out for our exciting announcement in March.
- We have held numerous ACD/Labs symposia and user meetings across the U.S., Europe, and Japan to facilitate discussions between customers. See where you can meet with us and peers in 2019 to share your challenges and successes.
- Last but not least—we’re celebrating 25 years in business! Thank you to all of our customers, partners and employees for being a part of our journey as we look to improve the management and analysis of scientific data and research. Cheers to the next 25 years. #ACDLabs25
See more ACD/Labs achievements on our timeline.