Information Today
Volume 19, Issue 9 October 2002
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Thomson Acquires Current Drugs, Lawtel

Thomson Corp. has announced that it has acquired Current Drugs, Ltd., a privately held U.K.-based provider of integrated competitor intelligence services to the research solutions market. Thomson also announced the acquisition of Lawtel, a U.K.-based legal online information service.

Current Drugs, Ltd.

Current Drugs provides databases, systems, and services such as the Investigational Drugs database (IDdb), a resource for scientists and business executives involved in drug research and development. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

According to the announcement, the addition of Current Drugs enhances the offerings that Thomson provides to the drug discovery and development functions within pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. When combined with otherThomson products and businesses such as Derwent World Patent Index, Derwent GENESEQ, and ISI Web of Science, as well as the work-flow capabilities ofWila Verlag, Current Drugs further enables Thomson to deliver a highly differentiated, comprehensive research solution to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology market.

"This is a very exciting development for all involved," said Mike Tansey, CEO ofThomson Scientific. "Thomson brings to Current Drugs the additional expertise, must-have content, and infrastructure needed to grow the business and meet the expanding needs of its customers. And with the addition of this business, Thomson will soon be able to offer a range of databases and services on the IDdb platform that will help customers achieve improved productivity in their R&D organizations."

Current Drugs' IDdb delivers content in a manner that enables integration with a client's own proprietary data and supports the researcher work flow by using a proprietary thesaurus. Current Drugs also provides products that focus on specific areas of scientific research, including the review journal Current Opinion in Drug Discovery and Development and patent-based competitor intelligence services for the bio-pharmaceutical sector.


Lawtel will be managed by Sweet & Maxwell, a Thomson business and a leading legal publisher in the U.K. and Ireland. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Lawtel offers current awareness and other legal services that are designed to allow lawyers to keep in touch with the latest legal developments. The service complements Sweet & Maxwell's existing family of online products, particularly Westlaw U.K., a premium legal research tool. According to the announcement, Lawtel's deep penetration in key market segments, including small law firms, the bar, and in-house counsel, strengthens Sweet & Maxwell's ability to reach a broader range of legal customers.

Brian H. Hall, Thomson Legal & Regulatory president and CEO, said: "At Thomson Legal & Regulatory, we are continually investing in our global portfolio of online products. The Lawtel acquisition will help us reach a larger spectrum of legal and regulatory professionals and ensure our customers keep their competitive edge by having access to information of unparalleled breadth and depth."

Mike Boswood, managing director of Thomson Legal & Regulatory Europe, said: "This move supports our long-term strategy of delivering superior, value-added content in a format that lets customers make better decisions faster. Our customers will now have access to the best of both content worlds: current awareness and primary law content. We are excited about the opportunities ahead for us and pledge to make Lawtel an even stronger service."

Source: Thomson Corp., Toronto, 416/360-8700;

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