CAS Drives Increase in R&D Productivity with Launch of Breakthrough Retrosynthesis Planner in SciFinder

Uniting advanced technology with CAS’s unmatched collection of chemical reaction data increases efficiency of chemical synthesis planning.

Columbus, OH, July 1, 2019 — CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society specializing in scientific information solutions, launched a computer-aided retrosynthetic analysis solution that systematically identifies new pathways to chemical compounds. Now available to all SciFindern users, this next-generation capability is empowering chemistry researchers around the world to rapidly identify, compare and prioritize alternative synthetic pathways.  

“It's obvious that the pharmaceutical industry needs advanced capabilities in synthetic chemistry for drug discovery and development. New molecules usually don't make themselves—rather they are the cumulative end-product emerging from an intricate process of hypothesis, design, and synthesis,” says Dr. Nick Terrett, Scientific Associate Vice President and European Chemistry Lead for Merck Sharp & Dohme. 

The Retrosynthesis Planner in SciFindern assists chemists with the synthesis portion of this process. Researchers are confirming this new functionality accelerates research, improves productivity and will help them get new products such as pharmaceuticals, agrichemicals and performance chemicals to market faster.

For any known molecule, chemists can now use SciFindern to connect reaction steps revealed throughout millions of publications from around the globe to quickly build a comprehensive, intuitively organized retrosynthetic plan for their application. Whether users are looking for optimum synthetic routes to known intermediates, seeking cutting-edge solutions to replace older routes or exploring ideas for scale-up processes, the new retrosynthesis planning functionality in SciFindern reduces the time spent finding, validating and prioritizing synthetic routes from hours to minutes. In addition, the SciFindern retrosynthesis plan provides direct access to related references and commercial suppliers, so researchers can complete their entire synthetic planning workflow in a single solution. 

With timeframes to bring new chemical products to market measured in years and investment in R&D measured in billions, chemical R&D organizations are constantly seeking new solutions to improve productivity and speed breakthroughs to market. Yet, as the volume and complexity of published scientific information grows exponentially each year, efficiency becomes continuously more challenging to achieve. SciFindern leverages the latest technology to provide insights that save chemists significant time and optimize processes, providing high value to research leaders. 

“This latest innovation in SciFindern combines CAS’s core assets: our unmatched content collection, specialized chemical information technologies, and unique expertise, to address a significant efficiency opportunity for chemical R&D organizations,” says CAS CEO Manuel Guzman. “This is an important milestone for CAS as we continue to work toward fully realizing the potential of AI and machine learning to empower synthetic chemistry for our customers in SciFindern.”

The CAS collection of human-curated scientific content is recognized as the largest and highest quality in the world, amassing data organized over the past 110+ years. Data volume and quality are critical requirements to fuel emerging technologies, including AI and machine learning, among others. With nearly 120 million reactions underpinning the synthetic planning feature in SciFindern, this valuable solution is uniquely able to provide chemists a comprehensive view of the relevant possibilities.

CAS has also collaborated with John Wiley and Sons, Inc. to deliver more value to chemistry researchers. CAS developed this new experimental retrosynthesis capability, in part, with Wiley’s award-winning ChemPlanner technology.    

About CAS

CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, partners with R&D organizations to provide actionable scientific insights that help them plan, innovate, protect their innovations, and predict how new markets and opportunities will evolve. Scientific researchers, patent professionals and business leaders around the world across commercial, academic and government sectors rely on our solutions and services to advise discovery and strategy. Leverage our unparalleled content, specialized technology, and unmatched human expertise to customize solutions that will give your organization an information advantage. No one knows more about scientific information than CAS. Learn more at

CAS – Where Science and Strategy Converge

About SciFindern

SciFindern, the newest and most advanced solution in the SciFinder® family, allows researchers to eliminate productivity bottlenecks and accelerate their innovations to market. With optimized access to the unmatched CAS content collection, retrosynthetic planning solutions, and the most advanced chemistry relevance engine in the industry, SciFindern is the scientist’s lab partner allowing them to do their best research in record time.

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