Member Profile DrugBank

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.

Member Profile: DrugBank

Michael Wilson and Craig Knox are active entrepreneurs and members of our campus. Our first interactions with OMx were while they were working on a customer-facing product that leveraged their deep understanding of databases for scientists and uncovering the trends in data that would impact individual lifestyle choices, around diet and exercise.

Now, their focus and business model have shifted to DrugBank and a suite of connected products that makes the most of their personal expertise, building databases that make scientific research and applications smarter, faster and more capable. 

We sat down with Mike to learn what’s next for DrugBank and the team.