An advanced search engine for patent analytics in medicinal chemistry

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2012;180:204-9.


Patent collections contain an important amount of medical-related knowledge, but existing tools were reported to lack of useful functionalities. We present here the development of TWINC, an advanced search engine dedicated to patent retrieval in the domain of health and life sciences. Our tool embeds two search modes: an ad hoc search to retrieve relevant patents given a short query and a related patent search to retrieve similar patents given a patent. Both search modes rely on tuning experiments performed during several patent retrieval competitions. Moreover, TWINC is enhanced with interactive modules, such as chemical query expansion, which is of prior importance to cope with various ways of naming biomedical entities. While the related patent search showed promising performances, the ad-hoc search resulted in fairly contrasted results. Nonetheless, TWINC performed well during the Chemathlon task of the PatOlympics competition and experts appreciated its usability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical / methods*
  • Data Mining / methods*
  • Database Management Systems*
  • Databases, Pharmaceutical*
  • Internet*
  • Patents as Topic*
  • Search Engine / methods*
  • User-Computer Interface