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SAFC pieces together services for fuller chiral offering

By Natalie Morrison , 13-Jun-2012
Last updated on 13-Jun-2012 at 11:46 GMT

SAFC has coupled its chiral screening and small-scale purification services to meet what it says is a boom in demand for more complete chemical analysis from drugmakers.

The firm – Sigma-Aldrich’s custom manufacturing subsidiary – says the move means it can work from development through to scale up, and includes chiral analysis like gas chromatography (GC) and liquid chromatography (LC) separations, large-scale crystallisation.

The combined operations will be available from the company’s Pharmorphix solid-state research labs in Cambridge, UK. The centre already houses solid-dose characterisation and research services.

Paul Rodwell, head of SAFC's chiral chromatography method development team, told Outsourcing-Pharma.com: There is an increasing need to outsource more of these types of studies, and combining the services in this way provides the greatest efficiency for the researcher.

“We are now able to offer chiral screening and purification in combination with many other supporting services within one facility. Determination of absolute stereochemistry, crystallisation studies and structure determination by Single Crystal X-ray Diffraction are just some examples of these supporting technologies.”

Equipment is still being transferred from US-based Sigma subsidiary, Supelco – which previously handled chiral analysis – and the labs are expected to be fully operational by July.

Big selection means big business

The Cambridge team will also take the reins for Supelco’s chiral column business, which handles services such as the production of enantiomerically pure APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients).

The firm hopes to trump its competitors by screening a wide range of chiral columns.

Rodwell added: While there are other companies offering chiral screening and purification services, these generally screen a restricted type of chiral column. This facility will screen a wide variety of stationary phase types.”

He also told us SAFC plans to set itself apart from the rest by offering physical property studies within the same project.

As for what’s next in store for the company, he added: “SAFC will continue to extend its process development services to enable customers to take advantage of production facilities that offer small to medium scale simulate moving bed (SMB) purification and production.”

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