Grace to start making fluorinated drug intermediates with tech from Valliscor

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

iStock/Cakeio
iStock/Cakeio

Related tags Chemistry

W.R Grace & Co has announced its intention to start making fluorinated pharmaceutical intermediates with technology obtained from Valliscor Llc.

The master services agreement– financial terms of which were not provided – will enable Grace to manufacture fluorinated chemical intermediates at its plant in Albany, Oregon using technology and knowhow provided by Valliscor. 

Spokesman Richards Badmington told us “we have sold fluorinated intermediates in the past, however, only where we purchased a ‘pre-fluorinated’ starting material and used it with our downstream chemistry​.”

He added that: “Valliscor’s technology allows us to introduce the fluorine, making our offerings more cost-competitive and enabling us to manage and provide additional steps in the process​.”

Fluorination – adding fluorine to a molecule – has been used to modify the properties of chemical intermediates and active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) for many years.

Pfizer’s off patent blockbuster Lipitor (atorvastatin) and the fluticasone in GSK’s Seretide has three fluorine units.

Anticipated demand 

Adding a fluorine atom to a molecule is chemically complicated and a supplier that can offer such capabilities in addition to other chemistries is likely to be in demand according to Badmington.

Typically, if a pharma company needs a product requiring 10 steps of chemistry and the fifth step is fluorination, they prefer to work with a company that can deliver all 10 steps​” he said.

Grace declined to provide sales estimates for its fluorinated intermediates business. However, according to Badminton, the firm is “very optimistic about what the relationship can deliver.”

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