Aesica Partners with the University of Nottingham to Develop Novel Amide Chemical Synthesis Technique
08 May 2013

Aesica, the global contract manufacturing organization (CMO), announces a partnership with the University of Nottingham for the commercial development of alternative methods in amide bond synthesis. This latest partnership is already the Aesica Innovation Board’s (AIB) fourth with an academic institution in less than six months; having been established to help bridge the growing R&D gap by identifying early stage technologies for development into commercial applications.

Amide bond formation is fundamental in pharmaceutical manufacturing. A recent survey conducted by the Green Chemistry Institute Roundtable identified that amide bond formation was utilized in 84 % of a set of drug candidates. The partnership’s aim is to revolutionize traditional amide formation techniques by generating alternative methods for amide bond formation, which will be more eco-friendly and chemically versatile. This innovative approach will be commercially available to Aesica customers in the next two to three months and already the company is actively seeking commercial opportunities to work with potential compounds that could benefit from this novel technology. Aesica envisages this new development helping pharmaceutical companies encountering problems with amide synthesis, and due to the utilization of more sustainable reagents, production costs will be lowered, whilst offering the potential of higher chemical yields.

The University of Nottingham has a strong track record of world-leading research in Green and Sustainable Chemistry. This collaboration builds upon 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 minimize 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. - Aesica has been quick to forge ahead with an increasing number of academic partnerships and this collaboration is yet another example of the changing way in which the most innovative university research techniques are being harnessed and applied by industry for commercial solutions.

“Since realizing 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 this novel technology in API manufacture.” Simon Woodward, Professor of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, University of Nottingham

"Aesica is delighted to be partnering with a renowned institution like the University of Nottingham and Prof. Simon Woodward. This new amide production technology is hugely exciting, and ultimately, this will enable cheaper and simpler routes to market for many compounds. Professor Woodward's ability to carry out high caliber research coupled with our desire to bring new economically important and innovative technologies to the market is the basis for a truly collaborative partnership". Barrie Rhodes, Director of Technology Development, Aesica Pharmaceuticals.

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