What Role Does Flow Chemistry Play in API Manufacturing?

Flow chemistry was once a novel synthesis concept that has now developed into a powerful and beneficial tool for manufacturing active pharmaceutical ingredients (API). Manufacturing APIs is a tightly regulated, multi-step process that is both time-consuming and labour-intensive while also requiring significant volumes of different chemicals. These issues are compounded by the limited nature of conventional batch manufacturing techniques. 

What is the alternative? Flow chemistry. In this article, we look at how flow chemistry plays a vital role in enhancing API manufacturing.

What is API Manufacturing?

API manufacturing is an umbrella term covering the development and supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients. These processes are complex, require specific equipment, and certain regulatory standards must be followed. The importance of API manufacturing is that the API produces the desired impact of the final drug product, whether used to cure, prevent or treat a disease. 

flow chemistry in API

What Role Does Flow Chemistry Play in API Manufacturing?

Flow chemistry, or continuous (flow) chemistry, is becoming a favoured method for manufacturing processes in the pharmaceutical sector because of its numerous benefits. Traditional batch chemistry has its advantages, but flow chemistry enables chemists to control a wide range of parameters, making reactions much safer. Additional benefits of flow chemistry include:

  • Automated systems
  • Cleaner products
  • Easy to scale up
  • Faster reactions and high throughput
  • Increased process control over reaction time, temperature controls
  • Safer reactions
  • Sustainable process

The instruments required for flow chemistry are available in various configurations to suit the processes that occur in continuous processing. The main instrument used is a flow reactor, but many of these can be customised depending on the needs of the application or scientists. As flow chemistry becomes more understood, its processes and related equipment will be enhanced to offer an even more sustainable manufacturing method.

Manufacturing APIs with continuous flow reactors provides several critical benefits over batch reactors, with the main point being the reaction parameters can be controlled. Controlling reaction conditions offers safer flow processes that become more predictable than batch reactions, which leads to more accurate flow reactions and high throughput. Reliable processing methods are critical in API manufacturing because even a tiny error in substance measurement could prevent the drug product from working effectively or safely. 

Asynt: Enhancing the Future of Flow Chemistry 

Asynt provides world-class technologies to chemists worldwide to support their laboratory applications. In terms of flow chemistry, Asynt Ltd and the University of Leeds have developed an affordable entry instrument: fReactor®. 

fReactor® Flow Chemistry Platform

The fReactor® platform is an ideal solution for synthesis and material development. It is a benchtop system that is easy to set up and use, and can be paired with a range of accessories and other instruments to suit your applications. With the fReactor®, you can bring flow chemistry into your lab to enhance current applications without requiring in-depth knowledge of the system.

fReactor flow chemistry platform accessible to all chemists from Asynt UK

Key features of the fReactor® include the 5 Continuous Stirred Tank Reactors (CSTR), a magnetic hotplate stirrer and the ‘plug-and-play’ setup. Additionally, Asynt provides several services to support chemists using the reactor. Our dedicated fReactor website offers all the information you need, and our team is on hand to help you with any questions.      

fReactor Photo Flow - unlocking the power of photochemistry in Flow Chemistry with Asynt

Are you interested in learning more about how flow chemistry works?

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