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Elsevier Combines Resources to Improve Drug Adverse Event Monitoring for Pharma

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NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Elsevier, a provider of scientific, technical, and medical information products and services, said this week that it has linked two of its databases to provide pharmaceutical companies with better risk monitoring and improved pharmacovigilance resources.

Specifically, Elsevier has connected Embase, its database of biomedical information culled from published literature, to PharmaPendium, its repository of pre-clinical, clinical, and post-release drug safety and regulatory data. Both solutions are part of the company's Life Science Solutions portfolio, which consists of tools and services that support drug discovery and development projects.

The product list includes Pathway Studio — an analysis solution that Elsevier acquired when it bought Rockville, Md.-based Ariadne Genomics in 2011 — which provides customers with tools to create and use molecular models; its Reaxys platform, which includes a database of 25 million bioactivity data points and bioassays on 5.1 million compounds; and ScienceDirect, through which customers access Elsevier's scientific journals and e-books. These solutions are used by groups such as Karo Bio, whose chemists use the Reaxys suite to identify and prioritize compounds for further research and development. Also, Sanofi uses Qusoa, Elsevier's literature management software, to retrieve, store, tag, and annotate relevant case reports for adverse event monitoring studies.

Combining Embase and PharmaPendium enables pharmaceutical scientists to more easily parse large quantities of drug safety information for the bits pertinent to new drug development or the safety of existing drugs and devices, Daan de Jong, Elsevier's director of product development, said in a statement.

In an interview with BioInform Mark van Mierle, the managing director of Elsevier’s pharmaceutical and biotech group, noted that PharmaPendium adds to the existing body of information in Embase, which draws from scientific literature, by bringing in regulatory data from entities such as the US Food and Drug Administration, providing scientists with more fodder for pharmacovigilance studies.

Van Mierle also said that the integration fits in with Elsevier's overall strategy for its life sciences portfolio, which aims to offer solutions that meet specific needs and to integrate products that provide more value to the customer. For example, in the pharmacovigilance field, in addition to pulling in information from PharmaPendium, Embase also leverages Quosa, which lets users explore, store, and share scientific articles on pharmacovigilance and drug safety, he said.

Besides access to PharmaPendium's information, Embase customers have also had their systems upgraded to a new version of the solution that has enhancements such as a text-filter export capability that lets users filter data for easier exploration and sharing. The upgrade also provides improved search forms that make it easier to review search options, as well as an auto-complete function that suggests drug and disease search terms.

The existing pricing scheme for access to the information contained in both resources has not changed with the integration. The exact costs are not disclosed.

Elsevier also recently updated its Reaxys solution to include more flexible search options, enabling users to run queries using bioactivity, substance, and literature terms; a so-called heatmap view where users receive an overview of the relationships between compounds and targets in terms of various parameters; and better data sharing and integration capabilities.

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