How many chemical substances are there? 100,000,000 (in CAS Registry)

US Chemical Abstracts Service registers 100 millionth chemical substance in CAS REGISTRY – 30 Jun 2015

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), the world’s authority for chemical information, has registered the 100 millionth chemical substance in the CAS REGISTRY, in the 50th anniversary year of the world’s largest database of unique chemical substances.

With a steady increase in patenting activity around the globe, it is not surprising the 100 millionth small molecule registration comes from a patent. In this case, the substance was reported in a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) patent from Coferon, Inc. (Coferon) in Stony Brook, NY. The inventors claim the molecule, CAS RN 1786400-23-4, available in both SciFinder® and STN®, is a novel therapeutic designed to treat acute myeloid leukemia.

Started in 1965 as a project to uniquely identify and track chemical substance information, the CAS Registry system is the only complete and accurate source of unique identifiers, known as CAS Registry Numbers for all organic and inorganic substances disclosed in scientific publications and other reputable sources. Today, scientists, intellectual property professionals and compliance specialists around the world rely on CAS Registry Numbers to instantaneously identify and access the exact chemical needed for their research, safety and compliance needs.

The invention of CAS REGISTRY revolutionized the chemical information field and transformed research since the mid 60’s, and CAS Registry Numbers are ubiquitous in mainstream society today. Global regulatory organisations, including the United States Environmental Protection Agency and The ACT on the Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals regulatory body in Korea, require all new chemical substances manufactured or imported to be identified by a CAS Registry Number. These are also used on Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) around the world as a reliable resource for safe handling and transport of chemicals. CAS Registry Numbers are found on consumer products we use, e.g., paint cans and shampoo labels, and are relied upon in numerous web information sources, including chemical suppliers sites, Wikipedia, PubChem, and ChemSpider, to provide the one unique key that can open the world of information about that substance.

The substantial growth in worldwide chemical discoveries over the past 10 years is reflected in CAS REGISTRY. A view of all substances added since 1965 shows that the pace of research has significantly accelerated in the past ten years. Of the 100 million substances in CAS REGISTRY, approximately 75 million were added over the past 10 years. On average, CAS has registered 1 substance every 2.5 minutes over the past 50 years.
Source:  Knowledgespeak Newsletter 6/30/2015
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70 million substances (CAS)

“CAS Registry registers 70 millionth substance – 07 Dec 2012

Chemical information provider Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), a division of the American Chemical Society, has announced a major milestone for the CAS Registry, the largest collection of publicly disclosed chemical substance information. CAS scientists registered the 70 millionth substance from a patent application submitted to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO).

The 70 millionth substance is a potential T-type calcium channel blocker discovered at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), a multidisciplinary research institute in Seoul, South Korea. Assigned CAS Registry Number® 1411769-41-9, the substance is one of several pyrazolyl-piperazine compounds disclosed in the patent application published by KIPO on November 14, 2012. This molecule may be useful in the treatment of epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, dementia and other conditions.

Similar to the 60 millionth substance registered in May 2011, the 70 millionth substance again reflects the value of patents as an important source of chemical information. In fact, more than 70 percent of new substances from the literature registered in 2012 originated from patents. To ensure the completeness and quality of the CAS premier substance collection, CAS scientists analyse, organise and curate chemistry in patents from 63 patent authorities around the world.

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Source:  today’s Knowledgespeak Newsletter

Chemistry journals information — CASSI

"The CAS Source Index (CASSI) search tool is a web-based resource intended to support researchers and librarians who need accurate bibliographic information. This new tool has been created as a free-of-charge resource that will enable researchers to confirm journal titles and journal title abbreviations in an easily accessible electronic format.


This free, web-based tool can serve as a companion tool to CASSI on CD customers to provide easy access for basic journal and abbreviation look-ups, while CASSI on CD provides additional functionality and data such as holdings information, DDS availability, certain record details, and archival ability. To start using the new CASSI search tool, visit"

Posted to CHMINF-L by Peter Carlton at 

Chemical Abstracts Service Registry to hit 50 million substances soon

US CAS REGISTRY on track to register 50 millionth chemical substance 18 Aug 2009

"Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), a division of the American Chemical Society, has announced that it is on track to register the 50 millionth unique chemical substance on September 7. The CAS REGISTRY claims to be the most comprehensive and high-quality compendium of publicly disclosed chemical information. This milestone comes only 9 months after CAS registered its 40 millionth substance.

REGISTRY is the only integrated comprehensive source of chemical information from a full range of patent and journal literature that is curated and quality controlled by scientists working around the world. For more than 100 years, CAS scientists and colleagues in several nations have meticulously analysed and indexed publicly disclosed global scientific information to build up the unique REGISTRY resource that provides not only chemical names, the unique CAS Registry Number, and vital literature references but also ancillary information such as experimental and predicted property data (boiling and melting points, etc.), commercial availability, preparation details, spectra, and regulatory information from international sources.

CAS scientists follow rigorous criteria that maintain high quality and reliability of information in its REGISTRY. Scientists identify reputable sources and use consistent analysis before registering a substance. REGISTRY is available to scientists through CAS’ product, SciFinder, and its STN family of products. With these advanced search and analysis technologies, CAS helps scientists find reliable information that is vital to their research process."

Source: Knowledgespeak Newsletter, 8/18/09

Instructional Podcasts from Chemical Abstracts Service

Logging in to SciFinder Scholar today, I discovered that CAS has made some interesting and elegant instructional podcasts.  Examples include: ethanol, nanoparticle drug delivery, DNA to RNA transcription, nanotechnology for energy, and lessons from Katrina.  The videos last from 4 – 6 minutes.

Common Chemistry — a web-based, free resource from Chemical Abstracts Service


 CAS launches free web-based resource for non-chemists  15 May 2009

 Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), a division of the American Chemical Society, has launched a new, free, web-based resource called Common Chemistry. This resource is helpful to non-chemists and others who might know either a chemical name or a CAS Registry Number of a common everyday chemical and want to pair both pieces of information.

Common Chemistry contains nearly 7,800 chemicals of widespread and general interest, as well as all 118 elements from the periodic table. With the exception of some of the elements, all other substances in this collection were deemed of widespread interest by having been cited 1,000 or more times in the CAS databases.

While not intended to be a comprehensive CAS Registry Number (CAS RN) lookup service, Common Chemistry does provide access to information on chemicals of general interest. The CAS Registry Number is recognised throughout the world as the most commonly used, unique identifier of chemical substances. The full CAS REGISTRYSM database contains more than 46 million organic and inorganic substances. Research discovery and patent tools such as SciFinder and STN allow users to search the entire database.

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Source:  Knowledgespeak Newsletter &  CAS.

Note:  Princeton University Library subscribes to the complete CAS Chemical Abstracts and Registry database — available as SciFinder Scholar.


40 millionth chemical substance — CAS

US CAS registers 40 millionth substance 04 Dec 2008

Chemical database provider Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) has announced that CAS Registry now includes 40 million organic and inorganic substances. The CAS Registry is one the most comprehensive collections of chemical substances and the CAS Registry Number is the recognised global standard for chemical substance identification. More than 100 million CAS Registry Numbers have been assigned to organic and inorganic substances and biosequences.

The 40 millionth substance was identified by CAS scientists in a journal article published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition. The article describes a novel method for the synthesis of polycyclic substances with ‘a central seven-membered carbocycle’, including the 40 millionth substance.

A division of the American Chemical Society, CAS provides the world’s largest and most current collection of chemical and related scientific information, including the authoritative database of chemical substances, the CAS REGISTRY. CAS combines these databases with advanced search and analysis technologies to deliver complete, cross-linked and effective digital information environment for scientific research and discovery, including such products as SciFinder, STN, STN Express and STN AnaVistTM, among others.

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Source:  Knowledgespeak Newsletter Dec. 4, 2008