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Germany: Drug Development Novel Chemical Technology to Make Pharmaceutical Production more Sustainable

Editor: Alexander Stark

With “Chemistry in Water”, Evonik offers a solutions to enable classical organic reactions to be performed in water. This new technology allows drug manufacturing with improved environmental footprint.

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With “Chemistry in Water”, Evonik now offers the possibility of carrying out classic organic reactions in water.
With “Chemistry in Water”, Evonik now offers the possibility of carrying out classic organic reactions in water.
(Source: Evonik)

Essen/Germany — An innovative green technology from Evonik enables the large-scale synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients in water. The “Chemistry in Water” technology has the potential to significantly reduce the environmental footprint of drug manufacturing by minimizing the need for large volumes of solvent and helping to simplify processes, the company claims.

“Chemistry in Water” or “micellar chemistry” uses surfactants which form microscopic spheres in water, called micelles. These function as nanoreactors and enable organic reactions, which are generally run in organic solvents, to be performed in water. The successful integration of micellar chemistry into the company’s CDMO portfolio follows a collaboration with pioneering organic chemist Professor Bruce Lipshutz of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Improving the environmental footprint for the synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients is critically important for the sustainability of drug manufacturing going forward.

Dr. Stefan Randl, Evonik

“After many years developing aqueous micellar chemistry, it is immensely rewarding to see industry applying and further developing its potential. I am confident that working closely with Evonik, as the first adopter for CDMO purposes, will pave the way for wider applications to industrial projects and overall, more sustainable chemistry,” says Bruce Lipshutz.

Apart from reducing the need for organic solvents in organic reactions, micellar chemistry also has the potential to generate higher yields and increase selectivity under mild conditions. Significant reduction of catalyst loading, energy consumption and waste production has been achieved using this approach for many reaction processes.

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