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ChemAxon Expands Headquarters to Keep Pace with Growing Cheminformatics Business


By Uduak Grace Thomas

ChemAxon has moved its headquarters to a larger office in its hometown of Budapest, Hungary.

The cheminformatics software company said the expanded facility will help it meet the needs of its "growing customer base."

It also "marks a key stage in ChemAxon’s evolution," Alex Drijver, ChemAxon's CEO said in a statement.

Besides improving customer service to clients like Pfizer (BI 1/22/2010), "our new headquarters will enable us to ... continue our growth across all aspects of the business," he said.

The extra office space will house 70 employees, Drijver told BioInform this week, adding that the company plans to hire an undisclosed number of software developers in 2012.

The company also has offices in the US and Asia.

In the new year, ChemAxon plans to build up its fledgling consultancy business, which is focused on creating and implementing custom products for its customers — a new area for the company, Drijver said.

This is addition to its core business, which provides cheminformatics software platforms and desktop applications for the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and agrochemical industries.

While ChemAxon has historically been "involved in providing [software] components," it has more recently shifted toward more "end user and web applications."

Additionally, Drijver said the company developing some products in areas outside the chemistry market and expects to launch these in the early part of next year.

A third area that the company is considering dipping its toe into is in creating "efficient" applications that connect instruments, information, researchers, and databases, he said. Currently, customers "stitch in together" multiple systems such as electronic laboratory notebooks and workflow tools to make these links.

Moving forward, the company's strategy is to "innovate on the product side" in order to keep ahead of the competition.

Drijver also said that the company will consider purchasing software from other companies rather then developing its own in-house tools, if necessary.

An example would be providing tools for inventory management where ChemAxon "may not provide all the pieces that are needed," he said. The firm could partner with another group on the development process or simply "buy the pieces that we need."

In spite of competing offerings from larger cheminformatics companies like Accelrys and smaller ones like Dotmatics, ChemAxon is "doing very well," Drijver said, adding that the privately held company saw 30 percent organic revenue growth for 2011, the same as it did in 2010.

The cheminformatics software space is "not a huge market" and there isn't room for a lot of players, Drijver said, though he noted that there are always groups that are looking for an alternative to Accelrys' offerings.

"That’s created some opportunities for us" and other smaller companies to take advantage of, he said.

Have topics you'd like to see covered in BioInform? Contact the editor at uthomas [at] genomeweb [.] com.