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The intelligent search engine for biomedical specialists


“GoPubMed is a sort of an intelligent Google for biomedical specialists,” explains Dr Michael Alvers, CEO and Co-founder of Transinsight. “The search engine saves time and so accelerates research significantly.”

Founded in November 2005, Transinsight is a software company focused on the life sciences that provides products and solutions for intelligent search technologies. Their main product, GoPubMed, was partly developed during the IST project, Biogrid, by Professor Michael Schroeder and his research team from the Biotechnology Centre at the Technical University of Dresden.

“Biomedical researchers have to be familiar with a huge number of publications,” notes Schroeder, Transinsight’s Chief Scientific Officer and Co-founder. “The PubMed database currently contains 15 million biomedical publications that have to be assessed by research groups.”

“Researchers in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries spend an average of 12.4 hours a week searching for relevant information,” adds Alvers.

GoPubMed can search literature repositories, websites, intranets and desktops. It indexes results and thus allows users to explore a large body of results in a structured manner.

In contrast to classical search engines, GoPubMed can answer questions using its background knowledge in molecular biology, medicine, drug development and food science. To illustrate this point, a search for ‘aspirin inhibits’ on a classical search engine returns a large number of unstructured results that do not answer the user’s original question. On the other hand, a search with GoPubMed reveals that the most frequently mentioned pathway for ‘aspirin inhibits’ is the cyclooxygenase pathway.

Schroeder stresses, “[GoPubMed] is intelligent and presents the search results in a way that is specifically linked to the interests of a particular research group.”

Thanks to its groundbreaking and competitive product, the young company has already won its first corporate customer – Unilever in the UK. Explaining why Unilever decided to purchase the software, Dr Cecilia Eyre remarks “GoPubMed helps us to quickly screen the vast literature for hidden gems and to discover trends in science.”

With exciting commercial prospects, the start-up company has also been quick to attract investment. This past January, it was announced that Transinsight had received €500,000 of seed funding from Germany’s recently established High-Tech-Gründerfonds and a further undisclosed sum from a private investor in Hamburg.

Indeed, such are the high expectations for Transinsight, that the firm was very recently crowned as one of only three ‘Lighthouse projects of the High-Tech-Gründerfonds’ by Michael Glos, German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Technology.

Jernett Karensen | alfa
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