Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Crystal clear savings for drug giants

06.06.2008
Drug companies could save millions thanks to a new technology to monitor crystals as they form.

The technique, developed by University of Leeds engineers, is a potentially invaluable tool in drug manufacture, where controlling crystal forms is crucial both to cost and product safety.

Most drug compounds are crystalline and their structure can affect both their physical attributes and their performance. Changes to these structures are often caused by undetected fluctuations in the process.

“If you were to use a pencil to write on glass you wouldn't get very far, but use a diamond and you could write your name. Yet both are pure forms of carbon. It's the same with different solid forms of the same drug; they can have completely different properties,” says Dr Robert Hammond of the University’s Faculty of Engineering, who leads the research team.

... more about:
»Technology »developed

“Drug molecules are becoming increasingly complex and the challenges involved in processing them means that it is not always possible to successfully produce the desired form reliably. That’s why there’s such enormous potential for our system. We’re now able to look at crystals as they are forming in a reactor, something that has never been done before.”

The new technology identifies and monitors changes in crystal structures on-line, providing a method of ensuring production of the desired drug compounds. The bespoke system has been developed by engineers at the University of Leeds in collaboration with Bede X-Ray Metrology as part of the EPSRC funded Chemicals Behaving Badly programme.

Called polymorphism, changes in crystal structure during processing can lead to huge delays in bringing drugs to market, costing drug companies many millions of pounds. It can also lead to challenges to intellectual property protection. There have been a number of high profile cases where patents have been challenged by companies making an established formulation using a different polymorph.

“It’s an enormous problem for drug companies,” explains Dr Hammond. “Their patents are extremely valuable – they are granted for 20 years, but it can take ten years to bring a new drug to market, which only leaves another ten to recoup the cost of its development.”

The technology developed at Leeds is based on the ‘gold standard’ method for monitoring crystal structures - powder X-ray diffraction, the primary tool for studying polymorphs.

“There’s enormous commercial potential for this technology, for example it could be developed to work at manufacturing plant scales and can be applied to speciality chemical industries as well,” says Dr Hammond. “We’re interested in talking to pharmaceutical and speciality chemical companies that can help us drive this forward.”

Jo Kelly | alfa
Further information:
http://www.leeds.ac.uk

Further reports about: Technology developed

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water world
20.11.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

nachricht Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activity
20.11.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Antarctic landscape insights keep ice loss forecasts on the radar

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Filling the gap: High-latitude volcanic eruptions also have global impact

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Water world

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>