At Sterling we create solutions which allow us to generate complex chiral molecules. This allows us to help our customers to develop and establish the best route for their API project.

We have established expertise in the development and scale-up of chiral syntheses. From industrialisation of classic chiral syntheses on behalf of our customers, to novel applications of kinetic resolution technology, our people provide both technical expertise and process understanding.

Epoxidation

We provide powerful tools for chiral epoxidation to support our customers from development through to commercial supply of these versatile intermediates.

By scaling up the Jacobsen Manganese Salen epoxidation technology, we can provide epoxides of high chiral purity on a metric tonne scale.

A vast array of cyclic and terminal alkenes (e.g. indenes, enynes and chromenes) have been converted into chiral epoxides with excellent enantiomeric purity and yields using manganese salen catalysis and low cost oxidants such as sodium hypochlorite.

This tool has been enhanced through ongoing optimisation of the manufacturing process conditions.

Our team also has expertise in the downstream functionalisation of the chiral epoxides to generate a range of pharmaceutical and speciality chemicals with high chiral purity.

Core capabilities:

  • Jacobsen’s epoxidation at > 1500L scale
  • A broad range of alkenes including cyclopentene, indene and acyclic enyne substrates, which have been subject to chiral epoxidation on a pilot scale

Reduction

Our chiral reduction capabilities, including aminoindanol reduction, chiral hydrogenation and enzymatic reduction, give our clients cost-effective access to high purity complex intermediates and APIs.

Aminoindanol reduction

Our experts have industrialised a proprietary aminoindanol chiral reduction technology and routinely operate this on >300kg scale.

Core capabilities:

  • Low catalyst loading
  • Typical e.e. > 95-99%
  • Isolated yield typically > 85%

Chiral hydrogenation

We can provide you with scale-up expertise involving a range of chiral hydrogenation catalysts and both small scale flow hydrogenation and large scale hydrogenation capacity.

Core capabilities:

  • Expertise in chiral hydrogenation catalysts at development scale
  • Production scale experience of chiral hydrogenation (using catalysts such as Ru BINAP)
  • Significant investment to enhance hydrogenation capacities at varying scales. We can cater for scales of 450L to 2,250L in our hydrogeneration vessel at 3.5 bar and we have one high pressure vessel for batches of up to 4,500L at 10 bar.

Enzymatic reduction

We have collaborated with Northumbria University to provide rapid enzyme screening coupled with development and scale-up expertise to provide biocatalytic solutions to our customers’ chemistry challenges.

We have also completed an Innovate UK sponsored project with a local biotech company. During this project several hundred new and novel keto reductases were synthesised in order to investigate the replacement of an expensive third party catalyst with a cost effective bio-catalytic process.

Technologies and capabilities

  • Hydrolytic, phenolic and amino kinetic resolution
  • Asymmetric reduction (hydrogenation and catalytic borane mediated reduction)
  • Enzymatic keto reductases
  • Asymmetric Diels Alder capabilities
  • Chiral cyclopropanation