I had the pleasure of representing ARChem Route Designer, a retrosynthetic analysis tool from SimBioSys at the American Chemical Society meeting in Philadelphia last week. While I am not an organic synthetic chemist I have done my fair share of syntheses during my BSc and PhD and actually had a bit of a green thumb when it came to purity and yield. When given the opportunity I ran instead at exciting nuclear spins in large magnets (and enjoyed my choice for many years).
Since I was in the commercial sector for over a decade managing the development of chemistry software I have always had an interest in the development of a retrosynthetic analysis tool. It’s a lot of work and requires a deep understanding of organic chemistry. ARChem results from combining the deep understanding of Peter Johnson with the software development skills of SimBioSys. Peter was not able to make it to the ACS meeting in Philadelphia and, since I have had some experience of ARChem as a result of working with SimBioSys over the past few months, I was asked to step in and present on the product.
A link to the presentation is given here. A paper on ARChem has also been submitted if anyone is interested.