Ash Stevens said it would use the new equipment in its process development activities in order to accelerate the time it takes to scale-up a synthesis from laboratory conditions to the manufacturing level.
"These investments allow us to rapidly optimise chemical processes and better understand process safety parameters prior to scale up," said Dr. Stephen Munk, president and CEO of Ash Stevens. The company has been manufacturing APIs since the 1960s, and has developed specialist expertise in high-potency APIs (HPAPI), including cancer drugs.
The combined use of parallel synthesis with calorimetry instrumentation means that more reactions – spanning a broader range of conditions. The system captures real-time data and provides electronic records useful for post-experiment analysis and safety enhancements include the addition of a Thermal Screening Unit used to evaluate the onset of thermal decomposition of reaction components.
Traditionally, an experienced scientist could conduct two concurrent experiments manually in the laboratory, said the company. With the new system, up to four experiments can be conducted simultaneously, said Ash Stevens.
"Our customers will benefit from increased time savings," added Munk.
The company said it also intends to bring a new three-reactor processing suite designed for carrying out hydrogenation reactions online in the third quarter of this year. The new suite will include a 50-gallon glass-lined steel hydrogenation reaction vessel as well as house a pair of 100-gallon vessels.
At CPhI last year, Ash Stevens said it intended to expand manufacturing at Riverview by 20 per cent out to 2010, with an increase in HPAPI capacity as well as this new plant-scale hydrogenation equipment.
Earlier in the year the company added new nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) instrumentation for chemical and structural analysis, and glove box filter units for HPAPI handling.