Aesica forms partnership with University of Nottingham

To develop novel amide chemical synthesis techniques

The Aesica plant in Cramlington, UK

Aesica, a global contract manufacturing organisation (CMO), is to collaborate with the University of Nottingham to develop alternative methods in amide bond synthesis.

Amide bond formation is fundamental in pharmaceutical manufacturing, as demonstrated in a recent survey conducted by the Green Chemistry Institute Roundtable, which found that the process was used in 84% of a set of drug candidates. The partners aim to revolutionise traditional amide formation techniques by generating alternative methods, which will be more eco-friendly and chemically versatile.

Aesica says the innovative approach will be available to customers in the next 2–3 months and the company is already seeking commercial opportunities to work with potential compounds that could benefit from the novel technology.

The company expects this new development to help pharmaceutical companies encountering problems with amide synthesis, and by using more sustainable reagents, production costs will be lowered, while offering the potential for higher chemical yields.

class="RQUOT">This new amide production technology is hugely exciting, and ultimately, this will enable cheaper and simpler routes to market for many compounds

The University of Nottingham has a strong track record of research in green and sustainable chemistry. This collaboration builds on recently announced plans to establish a Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Chemistry, part-funded by an investment from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) UK Research Partnership Investment Fund. The Centre aims to form creative partnerships with innovative companies like Aesica to develop new chemical based technologies that minimise environmental impact and are both energy and resource efficient.

The University was confident about the success of this technology on a small-scale basis and was keen to test its robustness in a commercial application. Preliminary studies were undertaken using funds awarded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under the Research Development (Pathways to Impact) Funding Scheme.

‘Since realising the initial use of our coupling agent in 2005, one of our goals has been to see this novel technology used in larger scale industrial environments. We look forward to collaborating with Aesica and seeing the full commercial potential of the technology in API manufacture,’ said Simon Woodward, Professor of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, University of Nottingham.

‘This new amide production technology is hugely exciting, and ultimately, this will enable cheaper and simpler routes to market for many compounds,’ added Barrie Rhodes, Director of Technology Development, Aesica Pharmaceuticals.

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