Build a solid foundation in science, formulation and product development—find out more!
Most Popular in:
Fishing for Ideas at Informex USA 2012
By: Rachel L. Grabenhofer
Posted: March 1, 2012
page 2 of 6
The same speaker panel furthered that the ultimate goal is to build relationships through these collaborations so that companies are not here today, gone tomorrow. They explained that “three- to five-year investments are typical for this industry’s products but there’s a lot of turnover.” Strong connections can be made by taking the time to develop the project. This may also be the case, even more so, in the personal care industry, where product cycles are much shorter than in the specialty chemical and pharmaceutical industry, and speed to market is a much faster process.
Customization: Like some personal care products and ingredients, specialty chemicals are becoming more complex, especially as precisely targeted therapies are developed, which makes them more difficult to synthesize and navigate the related “mine field” of intellectual property. In response to this, some companies have emerged that specialize in the development of these chiral chemicals. In other cases, companies have expanded to accommodate customized requests. As Todd Aplin, R&D advisor at Albemarle Fine Chemistry said, “We need to really understand what the customers want and be customer driven vs. market driven.”
Considering the complexities of customization, companies are focused on streamlining the process for example, by integrating earlier-stage drug development activities such as computer modeling. In his presentation on designing practical catalysts, Jerry Spivey, PhD, of Louisiana State University, discussed how computer computational methods can be used to develop a gold catalyst by modeling its effects at an atomic level—a daunting task. “Au 38 was chosen because it can be synthesized reasonably but managed computationally,” he said, furthering that his research was based on gold supported on titanium since this material was highly referenced, therefore affording him a reference point.
Considering the entire commercialization process, Joseph Barendt, PhD, COO of Chiral Technologies, discussed two aspects; one focused on pre-clinical trials and the other on clinical trials through launch. With pre-clinical trials, one can expect a high attrition rate without concern for pricing. In pre-clinical trials, technologies are not yet vetted and speed is the driver rather than cost. According to Barendt, “The current trend is to produce racemic molecules and purify faster.” He added, “There is increased outsourcing at this stage for such techniques as high-performance liquid chromatography, supercritical fluid chromatography and vibrational circular dichroism,” and that during these early stages, the process is about creating chemicals that are “good enough.”
In the second aspect of commercialization, i.e., clinical trials through launch, according to Barendt, scaleability and cost are major drivers as well as the efficiency and robustness of the process. This aspect is more about defining and refining with further improvements and optimizations. For this aspect, Barendt recommended to “let the experts handle it,” and to use stage-appropriate technologies to improve efficacy. All in all, according to Barendt, key to the commercialization process are “juggling time and cost constraints; never assuming—especially with complex structures—they will work the same as before; using all the tools available; and being sure the process is scaleable.”