PharmaBlock Receives 2024 ACS CMO Excellence in Green Chemistry Award, Marking a Second Consecutive Year of Recognition

March 26, 2024

PharmaBlock (Stock code: 300725.SZSE), a global, fully integrated CRDMO with a focus on innovative chemistry and low-carbon manufacturing, is proud to announce that it has been awarded the 2024 CMO Excellence in Green Chemistry Award by the American Chemical Society (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable (GCI PR). This esteemed award, marking the company’s second consecutive win among global CDMO companies, is a testament to PharmaBlock’s persistent commitment to green chemistry and its unwavering efforts in crafting innovative, sustainable solutions for the pharmaceutical industry.

Project Earning the Award

The honor of this year highlights PharmaBlock’s pioneering work on continuous oxidation and reductive amination reactions at the manufacturing scale by leveraging micropacked bed technology, and successfully producing tert-butyl 3-oxoazetidine-1-carboxylate and one of its intriguing derivatives tert-butyl 3-aminoazetidine-1-carboxylate. These compounds are vital in the pharmaceutical industry and serve as raw materials or key intermediates for many marketed drugs. 

The innovative process using continuous oxidation and reductive amination reactions consecutively, is a highly atom-economic procedure that capitalizes on micropacked bed technology and greener reagents and solvents. The design also incorporates safety measures such as monitoring acetonitrile vapor and hydrogen concentration, along with an automatic shut-off function. The new process has been successfully demonstrated on a multiple mT scale for the oxidation step and a 200 kg scale for the reductive amination step, enjoying significant improvements in equipment volume efficiency, process mass intensity (PMI), safety, environmental sustainability, and ultimately cost efficiency.  

Pioneering Application of Micropacked Bed Technology in Green Chemistry and Continuous Manufacturing

PharmaBlock has been developing a comprehensive suite of solutions, featuring flow chemistry, micropacked bed hydrogenation, biocatalysis, immobilized catalysis, etc. This strategic initiative aims not only to reduce the carbon footprint, but also to address the chemical challenges, ultimately enhancing the efficiency and safety of pharmaceutical manufacturing.

The award-winning project in 2023 was for the innovative continuous process, involving decarboxylation, decolorization, extraction, and separation, for producing 3-oxocyclobutane-1-carboxylic acid. Two metric tons of the product were successfully produced in ten days. The process showed drastic improvement in energy consumption, workspace utilization, workforce efficiency, and PMI.

A central achievement of PharmaBlock’s 2024 award-winning endeavor is the application of micropacked bed technology, a distinctive interpretation of continuous flow chemistry used in hydrogenation and oxidation reactions. 

Hydrogenation and oxidation are widely used in the pharmaceutical industry, but often present challenges leading to environmental and safety concerns, from the generation of potentially toxic by-products to the risks associated with managing large volumes of flammable gasses, high temperatures and pressures. Micropacked bed technology allows for maximized gas-liquid mixing and near-saturated gas dissolution throughout the column. Coupled with highly reactive immobilized catalysts, it leads to rapid conversion rates and often significant improvements like reduction of problematic by-products when compared to traditional batch processes. The micropacked bed technology also benefits from small, pressurized volume, improving mass transfer efficiency and making the whole reactor system inherently safer. Furthermore, it eliminates the need for laborious and tedious filtration of powder catalysts in conventional batch hydrogenation reactions, thus improving process safety and reducing manufacturing time.

Since its first successful commercial-scale implementation five years ago, PharmaBlock has applied micropacked bed technology to hundreds of hydrogenation processes and other tri-phase reactions, offering its business partners significant advancements in safety, cost-effectiveness, and speed. 

“We are thrilled to receive the CMO Excellence in Green Chemistry Award for the second consecutive year. With our steadfast dedication to leveraging innovation in chemistry and low-carbon technology from R&D to commercial manufacturing, we aim to improve efficiency and continue to reduce costs for our business partners. We are proud of contributing to a more sustainable pharmaceutical supply chain and a greener earth.” Said Dr. Minmin Yang, Founder and CEO of PharmaBlock.

Micropacked bed reactor at Pharmablock

About ACS GCI PR and CMO Excellence in Green Chemistry Award

The ACS Green Chemistry Institute (GCI) operates within the Office of Sustainability and is part of the Division of Scientific Advancement at the American Chemical Society. The ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable (PR) is the leading organization dedicated to catalyzing the integration of green chemistry and engineering in the pharmaceutical industry.

The CMO Excellence in Green Chemistry Award seeks to recognize outstanding efforts by CMO companies in green chemistry in support of pharmaceutical research, development, and manufacturing that demonstrate compelling environmental, safety, and efficiency improvements.

About PharmaBlock

PharmaBlock (Stock code: 300725.SZSE) is a global, fully integrated CRDMO that offers innovative chemistry products and services throughout the pharmaceutical R&D process and commercial manufacturing. Officially operated in 2008, PharmaBlock has partnered with almost all the top 20 pharmaceutical companies and hundreds of biotech companies around the world. Its dedication to advancing innovation in chemistry and low-carbon manufacturing supports partners to accelerate drug discovery and development, ensure consistent quality, reduce R&D and manufacturing costs, and foster a greener and more sustainable future. 

Contact at PharmaBlock

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