December 21, 2004
The cost-efficient synthesis of complex chiral products remains one of the greatest challenges in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals.
In a climate of globalisation of product sourcing and remorseless cost-cutting by major pharma, western suppliers have used chiral technology as a ‘business attracter’. The result has been a bewildering array of technology solutions – each touted as better than the rest with fine chemical companies vying for the title of leader in chiral technology.
CSS – one of Europe’s leading providers of chemistry and analytical services and an affiliate of the Almac Sciences group, – has now entered this arena.
‘The goal is to provide our customers with access to optimum manufacturing solutions while providing maximum flexibility in how those solutions are used,’ said Dr David Moody, VP Commercial Operations at CSS.
Of course, the key issue then is how to gain access to a chiral technology toolbox that merits the claim ‘world-leading’. Invent? Acquire? Again, CSS has a different approach.
‘Wonderful technology already exists in the hands of dynamic, entrepreneurial technology companies. We provide the route invention, scale-up, pilot manufacture and technology transfer – true partnership is the best answer,’ says Moody.
CSS has now formed ‘The Chiral Consortium’ with ChiralQuest and IEP. The Consortium will provide custom chiral synthesis (with manufacture at CSS’ site in Ireland); chiral building blocks and new routes to launched molecules. It looks like an impressive grouping:
ChiralQuest – a subsidiary of VioQuest Pharmaceuticals can claim to possess the broadest and deepest capability in asymmetric chemo-catalysis, thanks to the prodigious output of co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Prof Xumu Zhang. ChiralQuest’s proven technology provides cost-efficient access to an extremely broad range of amines, acids and alcohols.
Ron Brandt, CEO, ChiralQuest states: ‘ChiralQuest’s leading-edge technology represents a new generation of catalysts offering significantly improved turnover and frequency rates coupled with high enantioselectivity. Pharmaceutical and Fine Chemical manufacturers gain a valuable new synthesis resource through the combined efforts of this technology partnership.’
Similarly, IEP can justifiably claim to be the world-leader in bio-reduction technology. IEP’s technology has been proven at multi-tonne scale, and provides highly competitive access to diverse and challenging alcohols, diols and epoxides.
Of the Consortium, Ortwin Ertl, CEO IEP comments, ‘I am delighted to announce this partnership. Our customers will benefit from new derivatised molecules, capitalising on the superb chemical expertise of CSS from IEP’s innovative line of stereopure alcohols and epoxides. Novel stereopure alcohols are accessible in high volume via IEP’s EASOS-technology and superdehydrogenases.’
Will the Consortium expand? ‘We would be happy to welcome technology partners with as much to offer as the current membership. Of course, the trick is to have a compelling proposition for customers, and I think we have one,’ says Moody.