Novasep Process launches Supersep Lab 30-50
Chromatography unit, which aims to cut time and operating costs by
incorporating an automated CO2 recycling feature making it suitable
for purification process development, laboratory and turn-key
Supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) is a technique that is used in the investigation of drug compounds. Drugs must be water-soluble in order to be useful in the body, meaning they are polar, or have some degree of charge.
SFC specifically uses carbon dioxide-based fluids for the isolation of compounds. But because carbon dioxide is not polar, the technique could not be used to separate most drug compounds.
The Supersep Lab 30-50 is an automated, preparative Supercritical Fluid Chromatography unit that additionally features co-solvent gradient, patented cyclone separators for quantitative recovery of purified products, such as enantiomers, natural compounds, complex synthetic chemicals, etc.
An automated clean-in-place feature makes it suitable for quick multi-grams to hundreds of grams purification of multiple intermediates and drug candidates, supporting medicinal chemists and chemical development teams.
This latest technology launch is an attempt by Novasep to introduce SFC further in research and development laboratories and pilot plants of the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries.
SFC is particularly suitable for the purification of chiral compounds, actives or intermediates from complex mixtures and lipophilic compounds.
As a technique, SFC was hailed as the future of chromatography in the 1980s, but almost disappeared in the 1990s as scientist were frustrated by the lack of well-designed instruments and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) took off as an analytical tool.
Despite this, SFC has continued to be exploited, because of its potential for lower solvent procurement costs, faster chromatography, a longer lasting stationary phase, lower energy costs and low disposal costs.
Novasep are confident this unit, along with its range of preparative SFC systems, can realise the potential SFC has demonstrated sporadically. The range includes the Supersep Lab 20-30 for grams to tens of grams purifications, Supersep 50 for hundreds of grams to kilograms scale and Supersep 100 for multi-kilograms campaigns.
Pharmaceutical companies have admittedly been reluctant to adopt SFC, despite advances in instrumentation from the likes of Thar Technologies, and Mettler-Toledo as well as Novasep.
HPLC is perceived as the more versatile tool and companies want to be able to carry out as much work as possible with each instrument they buy.
On a lab scale drug companies have tended to use HPLC, moving up to multicolumn technologies such as simulated moving bed chromatography for industrial-scale applications.
Advances such as the work could hasten uptake of SFC across these applications, particularly for separation of chiral drugs, as it promises to reduce solvent use and waste, at least for applications up to kilo-scale production, and so could cut costs.