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Reaxa and RohnerChem partner on EnCat scale-up

By Gareth Macdonald , 22-Sep-2008

 

UK-based Reaxa and Switzerland’s RohnerChem have teamed up to develop the former’s EnCat catalyst technology for industrial applications in the API and drug manufacturing sector.

 

 

Reaxa’s encapsulated catalyst (EnCat) technology, which was invented by Avecia and researchers at Cambridge University, UK, embeds homogeneous catalysts in a 100-200 micron polymer bead matrix, creating discrete vessels in which chemical reactions can take place

 

Entry and exit of the reactants and resulting products is limited by the bead’s limited pore size, producing a more complete and controllable reaction. The approach offers an improved method of industrial catalysis for drugmakers, specifically by reducing the level of metal ion loss and contamination that often occurs during reaction steps using different catalytic techniques.

 

As Reaxa CEO Pete Jackson told in-PharmaTechnologist.com “standard homogeneous catalysis methods can create crude products that contain up to, for example, 2,000 ppm of palladium, whereas equivalent reactions using EnCat have levels in the 10ppm range.

 

As a result, many subsequent processing and crystallisation steps can be omitted using EnCat-based catalysis, significantly expediting compound manufacture times and reducing overall costs,” he explained.

 

Dr Jackson went on to say that RohnerChem’s good manufacturing practice (GMP) accredited facility in Pratteln near Basle, expertise and commercial reputation in the industrial catalysis market had been key factors in Reaxa’s choosing to work with them as a development partner.

 

He concluded that: “We are looking for an opportunity to demonstrate scale-up and Rohner is looking for new technologies so the collaboration is a good fit,” and added that: “I expect that RohnerChem’s customers will soon recognise the unique advantage we can offer in terms of accessing complex target molecules.

 

Markus Wyss, RohnerChem’s head of marketing and sales, agreed that the partnership is a good fit. He explained that the Swiss firm “provides transition metal catalysis as a core technology and we consider that employing Reaxa’s cutting edge EnCat products will allow us to offer the benefits of these catalysts to our customers.”

 

Reaxa’s EnCat range features a wide range of homogenous catalysts, including those based on palladium, platinum, osmium and nickel, all of which will be developed under the RohnerChem collaboration. Financial terms of the deal are not being released.

 

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