Life Sciences

Taking a good idea to the bank: DrugBank

Taking a good idea to the bank: DrugBank

When DrugBank launched three years ago, it wasn’t exactly brand-new. The online database had started in 2005 as a research project in the lab of U of A computing science professor Dr. David Wishart. Company co-founders Craig Knox and Mike Wilson had helped develop the tool as undergraduates and watched it grow into a leading Internet resource for free drug information.

“The first weekend we released it, the servers crashed because there was so much traffic coming in,” explains Craig Knox. “It was quite popular and grew in its popularity over the years.” Over the next decade, DrugBank became ubiquitous in the pharma world, with millions of global users ranging from university researchers and students to health professionals like pharmacists and physicians, and even members of the general public. The resource also attracted the attention of pharmaceutical and health information businesses.