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Reaxa's prices down thanks to scale-up

By Gregory Roumeliotis, 24-Apr-2006

Related topics: Processing equipment, Processing

British catalyst technologies firm Reaxa has slashed the prices of its encapsulated catalysts by two-thirds following increased demand for production scale quantities in pharma applications.

Pd EnCat 30 and Pd (0) EnCat NP30 were around $50(€40) to $60 but manufacture using larger batch sizes has led to a new pricing of between $12 and $20 per gramme.

"These are new products, so we were only making at 2Kg batch size to supply into R&D applications," Reaxa CEO Pete Jackson told In-PharmaTechnologist.com.

"We've now scaled up the leading products to 7Kg and 25kg batch size."

The Manchester-based company said product uptake to support customer projects, including flow processing trials in customers' pilot plants through H1 06, has been a contributing factor to the reduced prices.

"There is a dramatic cost reduction when you scale up manufacture and if demand continues to grow, we are planning tonnes scale production capacity," Jackson said.

"Right now, we are evaluating the costs for a potential manufacturing partner's production at this scale."

Most of Reaxa's Pd EnCat products contain palladium (II ) salts plus activating phosphine ligands, which target coupling reactions such as Suzuki, Heck and Sonogashira couplings where homogeneous palladium acetate is conventionally used.

Pd (0) EnCat NP30 is a different product, which is used for hydrogenation reactions, for example de-benzylations or nitro- to amino reductions.

In most cases, the EnCat polymer encapsulated catalyst gives a big reduction in the amount of metal contamination of the end product and one advantage of the EnCat format is that the catalysts can be used in a packed column for flow-through processing.

Reaxa has also scaled up production of its new encapsulated osmium tetroxide product called Os EnCat at 200g scale batch sizes and the company has plans to make it at 2 kgs batch size for its next campaign, driven by demand.

Os EnCat is used to replace osmium tetroxide, which is useful indihydroxylation reactions with olefins, and Jackson said its price will also drop on scale-up.

Sigma-Aldrich has been responsible for the world-wide distribution of Reaxa's Pd EnCat catalysts at lab scale since mid-2004 and similarly for distribution of the companion QuadraPure scavenging resins since early 2005.

QuadraPures are scavengers, not catalysts, and are used to pull residual precious metal contaminants from products such as active drug substances.

Reaxa recently announced four additions to its QuadraPure range - BZA, BDZ, EDA and DET - which extend coverage to address a wider range of metal contamination challenges in pharma processing.