The company, pKaData Limited, was formed by Tony Slater at the end of 2008. Tony has worked for 33 years in pharmaceutical research. He began his career with ICI Pharmaceuticals where he was involved in measuring pKa values in their physical chemistry group. Later, ICI Pharmaceuticals demerged to form Zeneca followed by a merger with Astra to form AstraZeneca. In the latter part of his career, Tony worked at their largest research site at Alderley Park, Cheshire, in the UK. Here he worked as a computational chemist supporting various research projects. During his career, Tony and his colleagues made extensive use of the IUPAC compilations of experimental pKa values in book form, and they always thought how much more useful these books would be as substructure-searchable data. However, the time and cost of doing this, together with the copyright issues precluded them from taking this forward.
In 2008, Tony accepted voluntary redundancy from AstraZeneca, and this provided him with the ideal opportunity to pursue a new venture. He approached IUPAC with his idea of undertaking the conversion and they very kindly granted him permission exclusively to convert their books into computer-readable data. Tony decided that he alone would undertake this painstaking task to ensure the accuracy and consistency of the conversion,