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Structure Elucidation an Important Key to National Research Council’s Goal of a Healthier, Wealthier South Africa


CSIR acquires structure elucidation software that will allow streamlining of a critical task in chemical and biological discovery, plant biotechnologies and more.

Toronto, CA (February 13, 2008)—The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa carries out research into drug and therapeutic discovery, the development of green technologies, and plant biotechnology using structure elucidation as an integral tool in characterizing compounds derived from indigenous resources or green processes.

The CSIR is one of the leading scientific and technology research, development, and implementation organizations in Africa. It undertakes directed research and development for socio-economic growth. The research carried out in its biosciences unit is specifically geared towards ensuring that the country will develop its existing knowledge, apply new knowledge from life sciences in treating and/or preventing disease, manage ecosystems, and find more sustainable energy alternatives. A critical task for many of the research groups within the unit is the elucidation of unknown compounds.

The elucidation of a chemical structure generally entails the use of several analytical techniques, such as NMR, MS, UV-Vis, and Chromatography, combining multiple data formats to piece together the puzzle of a chemical’s structure. It is a difficult and time-consuming process that researchers at the CSIR found used a larger proportion of their time than they wanted. They sought a way to increase the efficiency of the structure elucidation process to allow them more time to focus on other aspects of their work.

In an attempt to solve the problem, the CSIR purchased ACD/Structure Elucidator from Advanced Chemistry Development, Inc. (ACD/Labs). ACD/Structure Elucidator provides Spectroscopists with the ability to combine and manage NMR and other analytical data types (MS, Chromatography, UV-IR, etc.) from various sources into one software package. Structure Elucidator contains sophisticated algorithms that can compliment a spectroscopist’s workflow and greatly accelerate the structure elucidation process by automating many of the routine processing, analysis, and interpretation steps. A fringe benefit of this software is that it provides a means of organizing and storing chemical data and knowledge in a central, searchable database.

“We needed to streamline the structure elucidation process and make it as efficient as possible. Structure Elucidator is compatible with most of our instrument and software platforms, and fits well with the planned expansion of our NMR facility,” said Dr. Paul Steenkamp, research leader of the analytical science group at CSIR Biosciences. “As an added benefit, we will be able to combine our NMR data with all the other analytical data and be able to process, predict and create our own database. The ability to create a comprehensive database with [Structure Elucidator] opens up the opportunity for us to build our own library using our own experimental data—a valuable tool in compound identification.”

For more information about structure elucidation, please visit our website.

About Advanced Chemistry Development
Advanced Chemistry Development, Inc., (ACD/Labs) is a chemistry software company offering solutions that truly integrate chemical structures with analytical chemistry information to produce ChemAnalytics®. ACD/Labs creates innovative software packages that aid chemical research scientists worldwide with spectroscopic validation of structures, elucidation of unknown substances, chromatographic separation, medicinal chemistry, preformulation of novel drug agents, systematic nomenclature generation, and chemical patenting and publication. Combined, ACD/Labs’ solutions create an analytical informatics system that provides dramatic feed-forward effects on the chemical and pharmaceutical research process. Founded in 1994, and headquartered in Toronto, Canada, ACD/Labs employs a team of over 145 dedicated individuals whose continual efforts carry ACD/Labs’ innovative technologies into pharmaceutical, biotech, chemical, and materials companies throughout the world. Information about Advanced Chemistry Development and its products is available at

About the CSIR
The CSIR is one of the leading scientific and technology research, development and implementation organisations in Africa. Constituted by an Act of Parliament in 1945 as a science council, the CSIR undertakes directed and multidisciplinary research, technological innovation as well as industrial and scientific development to improve the quality of life of the country’s people.
The CSIR is committed to supporting innovation in South Africa to improve national competitiveness in the global economy. Science and technology services and solutions are provided in support of various stakeholders, and opportunities are identified where new technologies can be further developed and exploited in the private and public sectors for commercial and social benefit.
The CSIR’s shareholder is the South African Parliament, held in proxy by the Minister of Science and Technology. See or contact +27 (0)12 841 2000


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