Sterling has announced the completion of the initial phase of investment at its site in Dudley, UK to create the company’s centre of excellence for research into commercial applications of continuous flow chemistry. Announcement of the investment follows the appointment of Professor Ian R. Baxendale to lead a dedicated team of chemists and engineers to specialise in this area.
Multiple flow chemistry platforms have been installed into a research laboratory at the site to allow the investigation of a wide range of chemical processes, including photolysis, electrochemistry and hydrogenations, as well as equipment to undertake hazard evaluation studies. The team will focus on the rapid and successful development of processes to kilogramme scale initially, with a view to future industrialisation.
“Flow chemistry has the potential to open up applications within commercial pharmaceutical manufacturing that are currently used only within research and development or academic applications,” commented Mark Muldowney, Head of Technology & Innovation at Sterling. “We are seeing significant interest in continuous flow development and production from customers and our goal is to provide scale-up expertise to leverage the benefits this technology has to offer in terms of efficiency, safety, and economics.”
Sterling announced the appointment of Professor Baxendale in July 2021 on a three-year secondment, which has been funded by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation. Professor Baxendale is currently Chair of Synthetic Chemistry within the Department of Chemistry at Durham University.