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Digital Science boosts pharma industry support following OntoChem acquisition

By David Ellis June 7, 2023

In a sea of information, AI-based solutions will help to focus industry’s R&D

Wednesday 7 June 2023 London, UK and Halle, Germany

Digital Science is positioning itself to play an even greater role in the pharmaceutical industry’s all-important drug discovery, by helping industry sift through a sea of information and focus on the research that matters.

To achieve this, Digital Science – a technology company serving stakeholders right across the research ecosystem – has fully acquired OntoChem GmbH, a company highly specialized in AI-based solutions for finding and extracting key information from internal and external data and text, especially published research.

OntoChem has become the newest member of the Digital Science family following an almost two-year partnership between the two companies. OntoChem will continue to work as part of Digital Science’s portfolio product Dimensions – the world’s largest linked research database and data infrastructure provider – which will bring strategic value to the pharmaceutical industry as well as to the wider health and medical sector.

Based in Halle, Germany, OntoChem has 18 years’ experience creating innovative technologies for industry. OntoChem’s text mining, natural language processing and semantic data extraction technologies enable companies to obtain information from both unstructured and structured data, turning it into new knowledge for research and discovery, as well as for strategic decision-making. These tools are utilized by pharmaceutical, material science and technology-driven businesses.

OntoChem currently indexes more than 600 million public documents with 30 million semantic ontology concepts and 150 million synonyms, in fields such as compounds, proteins, diseases, drugs, materials, methods, devices, species, and many more. In compounds alone, OntoChem accesses data from research into 2 billion compounds, which are critical to drug discovery.

Lutz Weber, CEO OntoChem, said: “More and more, pharmaceutical companies are rapidly advancing their research with the use of AI, machine learning, and other technologies, to accelerate their discoveries, and to translate those discoveries into real outcomes.

“One of the biggest issues for pharmaceutical companies is the ‘data dilemma’ – there is so much information to sift through that it can be hard to know where to look or how to focus. Even in one field, such as cancer or diabetes, there is a sea of new knowledge being generated each day in very specific areas of research. This is where our work can help to provide that focus, assisting companies with their discovery and decision-making.

“At OntoChem, we are delighted to become part of Digital Science – this will greatly support our long-term vision to extract the world-wide and comprehensive semantic knowledge from any scientific and related documents or databases, both from enterprise as well as public sources.”

Christian Herzog, Chief Product Officer for Digital Science and co-Founder of Dimensions, said: “OntoChem is a strong strategic fit for Digital Science in combination with our flagship product, Dimensions. The pharmaceutical industry will directly benefit from this acquisition, and through their discoveries our work will benefit the health of individuals and communities right around the world.

“OntoChem’s highly specialized search and extraction tools combined with Dimensions’ access to data from hundreds of millions of research papers, linked grants, patents and clinical trials, and access to data via Google BigQuery, creates a powerful analytical environment. We are already working with life sciences companies, including those in drug research and development, and we expect this to continue and grow in the future.

“In addition to industry, research institutions, governments and funding bodies will greatly benefit from these unique insights suited to discovery and decision-making.”

About Digital Science

Digital Science is a technology company working to make research more efficient. We invest in, nurture and support innovative businesses and technologies that make all parts of the research process more open and effective. Our portfolio includes admired brands Altmetric, Dimensions, Figshare, ReadCube, Symplectic, IFI CLAIMS Patent Services, Overleaf, Writefull, OntoChem, Scismic and metaphacts. We believe that together, we can help researchers make a difference. Visit and follow @digitalsci on Twitter or on LinkedIn.

About Dimensions

Part of Digital Science, Dimensions is the largest linked research database and data infrastructure provider, re-imagining research discovery with access to grants, publications, clinical trials, patents and policy documents all in one place.

About OntoChem GmbH

OntoChem offers high-performance and highly customizable text analysis and data mining products that can be tailored to meet the specific needs of every client. OntoChem’s main products are: SciWalker – a semantic search and analysis solution to support life and material science communities; OntoChem Processor – a semantic processor tool where clients can enter text from any source; OntoChem Ontologies – a range of ontologies for specific medical and biochemical applications.

OntoChem’s information discovery tools are used by small and large life and material science companies to find information by automatically indexing and analyzing internal as well as external data collections. This data provides the raw material for AI and machine learning methods for predictive drug discovery or materials design. OntoChem is proud to work with some of the most influential companies in the fields of pharma, chemistry, specialty chemistry, material science, publishing and IT. Visit

Media contacts

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