Almac Group Invests £600,000 to Expand Crystallisation Capabilities

July 1, 2021

Craigavon, Northern Ireland – 1 July 2021 – Almac Sciences, a member of the Almac Group, has invested ~£350,000 in an automated crystallisation platform to support solid form screening of polymorphs, salts and crystals in addition to crystallisation of amorphous materials. A new Empyrean X-ray powder diffractometer, which allows X-ray powder diffraction analysis of samples, represents a further £250,000 investment by the company.

The ChemSpeed Swing Crystal platform automates many common crystallisation operations, which reduces overall duration for solid form screening projects, accommodates a 24/7 run schedule and allows for rapid screening of a significantly wide variety of crystallisation conditions, including where limited sample quantity is available. The platform has the capability to:

  • Weigh up to eight different powdered solids from 1mg- 100g, including either amorphous or crystalline material and electrostatic powders
  • Handle up to 60 different liquids, including a range of organic solvents, acid and base solutions for volumetric dispensing from 100µL-10mL
  • Dispense into glass vials or well-plates suitable for direct analysis by X-ray powder diffraction
  • Filter slurries and provide inert atmosphere options for sensitive materials, where required
  • Carry out a diverse range of crystallisation unit operations, including evaporation, slurry, temperature cycling, and antisolvent additions, thereby maximising the chance of nucleation / crystallization of the material

The platform is currently set up to accommodate vials and has been selected due to its ability to be adapted, allowing the ability to facilitate well-plates in future.

Dr Jonathan Loughrey, Physical Sciences Manager, Almac Sciences, commented: “We are excited to remain at the forefront of solid form research and development by embracing automation to maximise experimental diversity and sample throughput for tailored work programs to ensure our clients receive a premier service offering.” 

Professor Tom Moody, VP Technology Development and Commercialisation, Almac Sciences and Arran Chemical Company, commented: “Almac Sciences is a cutting-edge science and technology partner and we are committed to investing in the latest equipment to best serve our clients. With the time and cost saving benefits of automation in mind, we’re delighted to announce this further investment into automating our crystallisation capabilities which is modular in design enabling elements to be upgraded in the future for expanded use cases.”


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