The AFRICA (Automated Flow Reaction Incubation and Control Apparatus) microreactor was developed in partnership with the world's number two pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. GSK collaborated with Syrris on a new micro-scale flow technology used in the product.
AFRICA combines reaction optimisation and synthesis in one system, which reduces the time it takes to create new compounds. Aside from its obvious applications in process development and reaction optimisation, the unit is also expected to be used in drug discovery.
Using the system, reactions occur under laminar flow conditions, to improve control and reproducibility, and the system allows multiple reaction conditions such as time, temperature and stoichiometry, to be run and analysed automatically, according to Syrris.
Analysis predicts the next set of experiments allowing rapid iterative optimisation to be performed. The system is already in use at GSK's research facilities at Harlow, UK.