FluxPharm licenses process for the cost-effective production of active pharmaceutical ingredients
Active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are currently often produced using what is known as the “batch” method. With this method, all the necessary reagents are added to one container where they react with one another. However, this method of producing APIs in a “pot” is time-consuming and requires large quantities of additional chemicals.
In contrast, the flow chemistry process developed at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces is comparable to an assembly line system. With continuous flow, the reaction takes place while the chemicals move through the pipes or tubing of a specially designed reactor. In this way, the reactions are safer and more efficient and much smaller quantities of reagents are required. The improved chemical reaction processes also mean that a variety of standard ingredients can be produced in modular reactors. Previously, a special production facility had to be built and operated to manufacture each ingredient.
Peter Seeberger, Director at the Max Planck Institute in Potsdam, and Kerry Gilmore, Research Group Leader at the Institute and co-founder of FluxPharm, developed the technology. FluxPharm will develop the licensed technology commercially and use it in cooperation with pharma companies.
Development efforts will initially focus on the manufacture of Efavirenz, a drug used to treat the immune deficiency disorder AIDS. There is a huge need for such medications, particularly in developing efforts. The high cost of production means that there is a lack of medications for people in these countries. Negotiations with partners in South Africa, who would like to use the technology developed by FluxPharm to produce Efavirenz, are almost complete. Negotiations with other partners regarding the global production of other drugs are also currently underway.
The production process developed at the Potsdam-based Institute is not tailored solely to Efavirenz. The manufacture of a variety of other drugs such as lyrica, gabapentin and baclofen – used to treat anxiety disorders, epilepsy and spasticity, respectively – has also been demonstrated. Global sales of these three medications alone total around five billion euro annually. The technology is therefore potentially very promising.
It is important that active pharmaceutical ingredients benefit people throughout the world. The new method that we have licensed at FluxPharm can reduce the production costs of medications by 25 percent or more and thus marks an important step in this direction.
Patent and Licence Manager with Max Planck Innovation
About Max Planck Innovation
Max Planck Innovation is responsible for the technology transfer of the Max Planck Society and, as such, the link between industry and basic research. With our interdisciplinary team we advise and support scientists of the Max Planck Institutes in evaluating their inventions, filing patents and founding companies. We offer industry a unique access to the innovations of the Max Planck Institutes. Thus, we perform an important task: the transfer of basic research results into products, which contribute to the economic and social progress.
FluxPharm GmbH was established in 2015. Headquartered in Potsdam, the company specializes in the continuous synthesis of active ingredients and other premium chemicals. The exclusively in-licensed technologies were developed at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces.
About the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces
The Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces was founded in 1992. Research in colloid and interface science is widely covered by the following Departments: Biomaterials, Biomolecular Systems, Colloid Chemistry and Theory & Bio Systems, the Max Planck Research Group Mechano(bio)chemistry and the Emeritus Group (Interfaces). Current research topics are polymeric films, membranes, organic and inorganic nanostructures, microcapsules, biomineralization, nano- and microreactors, molecular motors and filaments, as well as the chemistry and biology of carbohydrates.