Partnership to further develop chemical safety database

Article by Amanda Jasi

THE Pistoia Alliance and Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), a division of the American Chemical Society (ACS), have signed an agreement which will see CAS develop and host Pistoia Alliance’s chemical safety database.

The Pistoia Alliance’s Chemical Safety Library (CSL) is a community crowd-sourced database of hazardous reaction incidents aimed at improving safety and reducing incidents across the chemical enterprise. It was launched in 2017 by the Alliance, a global-not-for-profit life science and healthcare organisation. The database provides a repository for scientists to capture and confidentially share hazardous reaction information based on their experiences in the laboratory. Currently it has more than 1,000 registered users from industry, academia, and government entities.

In 2018, the Alliance announced that it was seeking a strategic partner to continue developing its online database of chemical reactions.

Under the recent agreement, CSL will continue to be a free resource for the entire chemical community, and it will be enhanced with a new deposition and search interface developed by CAS. Part of the world’s largest scientific society, CAS specialises in scientific information solutions.

The Alliance says it engaged with CAS because of its “unique scientific information management expertise and technology capabilities”. CAS has more than 100 years’ experience in building and managing high-quality scientific databases, including the largest available collection of published chemical reactions.

CAS is a respected authority, which provides confidence that this “critical data can be shared confidentially and deposited and accessed efficiently,” said the partners.

The Alliance and CAS are working together because they believe that openly sharing critical safety data can make the entire chemical community safer. According to Manuel Guzman, President of CAS, information sharing “has no greater purpose than ensuring the safety of the researchers doing the critical work of innovation”.

Steve Arlington, President of the Pistoia Alliance, said: “The Chemical Safety Library is one of the most important initiatives the Pistoia Alliance has launched, and it has always attracted considerable interest from our members. We believe that every area of research can benefit from collaboration, and CAS has deep expertise in managing this type of data resource. I look forward to seeing the growth and further development of the Chemical Safety Library through this partnership.”

The hazard information being collected for CSL is feely available to the public and, for additional accessibility, it will also be uploaded to PubChem, an open chemistry database at the National Institutes of Health. Anyone can contribute reaction incident information to the database, which will be overseen by an advisory panel comprising CAS, ACS, and Pistoia Alliance management and membership companies, as well as external experts.

CSL is based on an initiative submitted by global biopharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb, a member of the Alliance. The database is funded by Alliance members.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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