TAXA-FIX – Purification of taxanes by means of CPC or CCC

TheTAXA-FIX invention relates to a process for separating and purifying taxanes using liquid-liquid partition chromatography (e.g. FCPC). In this case the taxanes, which are produced by fermentative action, for example, can be separated chromato-graphically from the supernatant of a cell suspension culture either directly or after a preliminary separation with solvent changeover (e.g. adsorption). The high productivity of partition chromatography in association with its good selectivity results in fewer process steps and a lower solvent consumption in comparison to existing processes. The overall process achieves higher yields and is therefore clearly more cost-effective than conventional processes.

Commercial Application: The invention relates to a process for the large-scale produc-tion of taxanes, in particular Baccatin III and 10-DAB III. These taxanes that occur naturally in the bark of the Pacific or Euro-pean yew tree are, inter alia, precursors of the cytostatic sub-stances Paclitaxel and Docetaxel, which have been used as anticancer drugs under the brand names Taxol® and Taxotere® since the beginning of the 90s. Because of the unique mecha-nism of action, there is a high demand for these substances on the world market. With a turnover of more than 4 billion dollars, taxanes were the best-selling cytostatics worldwide in 2007. Nevertheless, treatments are very expensive because of the market prices for Paclitaxel and Docetaxel or their precursors. There is therefore a requirement for a more effective downstream process for purifying these substances.

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