With synthesizing new molecular entities (NMEs) our mission in life as chemists, we are innovators, creators even. In drug discovery research, these NMEs stand a good chance of becoming a cure for a major illness or disease. Few roles in life provide such opportunity for making a positive impact on society as does being a medicinal chemist. It is no wonder that we are so emotionally attached and protective of the targets we create, almost in a parental way. This is why we need to carefully manage every step of the NME synthetic process. The question is, how can we ensure that we have full control over one of the most important, yet least enjoyable steps in the process – purification?
New drug substances, the result of more than a decade of pharmaceutical research and development, have revolutionized society by saving lives, increasing life-spans, reducing suffering, avoiding surgery, and shortening hospital stays. New breakthroughs in the treatment of non-communicable diseases mean that drug substances are in a constant state of high demand, making the pharmaceutical industry one of the most innovative of industries on the globe. Why then, do so few drugs come to market? It turns out that a key factor is providing drug discovery chemists with tools such as automated flash chromatography to ensure that they can be confident in delivering target compounds in a timely fashion.
Pharmaceutical researchers feel real pressure to increase their R&D productivity by ‘doing more with less’. Despite having limited internal resources and specialized expertise, discovery chemistry research labs are expected to be increasingly effective and efficient, and deliver drug targets faster to advance projects rapidly. However, a lack of effective tools and technologies results in low efficiency workflows, with slow and laborious lead generation and optimization as a result. To boost productivity, the iterative cycle of design-make-test-analyze (DMTA) must move to a ‘best-practices’ state to become faster, more predictable and less time-consuming. A key factor is availability of reliable purification systems from dependable vendors.