Akzo Nobel business unit Diosynth, which specialises in the production of complex active biopharmaceutical ingredients for the pharmaceutical sector, has developed a new method for manufacturing synthetic peptides that, it claims, increases the speed and flexibility of the process.
The process, called DioRaSSP (Diosynth Rapid Solution Synthesis of Peptides), is the subject of recently published patents in the USA and Europe, and will be presented for the first time at the forthcoming Oligonucleotide and Peptide Technology Conferences (Tides), to be held in Las Vegas, USA, from 28 April to 30 April, 2003.
Diosynth has been active in the field of peptides for more than 75 years. Initially, these natural peptides were extracted from biological starting materials and then purified, but in the last 30 years this process was replaced by synthesis or production via biotechnological processes, which tends to result in purer products and offers opportunities to modify the amino acid chain to obtain improved therapeutic activity.
Adriaan Sanders, who is responsible for research & development at Diosynth, said that the firm has relied mostly on a process called solution phase synthesis for its peptide manufacturing activities. In this process, amino acids are added to a growing amino acid chain in a liquid phase, and it can be labour-, time-, and skill-intensive largely due to the unpredictable solubility characteristics of the intermediates used.
"This method is very elegant and economical, but has the intrinsic disadvantage of very long development and manufacturing cycles, sometimes as much as two years," he said, adding: "our DioRaSSP method not only has all the advantages of the solution phase approach, but offers substantial additional benefits such as shorter development times and an increase of manufacturing flexibility, even at scales as high as hundreds of kilos."