Sai Life Sciences introduces Green Chemistry Awards
With the purpose of celebrating and recognizing teams and projects that demonstrate notable work in Green Chemistry, Sai Life Sciences instituted the ‘Green Chemistry Awards’ earlier this year.
Using an internally developed computational model, projects were assessed on their ‘Greenness Index’ that is a composite of several attributes across atom & mass efficiency, e-factor, water conservation, waste minimization, resource conservation, and greenness of solvents used, among others. The winning teams were ones that demonstrated a discernible improvement in their ‘Greenness Index’ over an established process.
In the 2020 edition of these awards, out of 22 entries, 3 project teams were selected as winners. Profiled below are the winning projects:
A team comprising of Sampath Kumar Y; Beerappa Ch; Apuri Satyender; Prathap Ireddy and Sreenivasulu Bandaru, developed an alternate process for a late-stage KSM of an EU-based large pharma company. The project required the team to develop a robust process with the use of predefined class 2 and 3 solvents, which were mentioned in the regulatory filing of the final API.
They achieved a break-through by combining two stages into one (telescopic process). This helped them reduce the number of solvents required for the process from 5 to 2, while also avoiding the use of tetra hydra furan, methylene chloride, chloroform, and acetic acid. The team achieved a substantial reduction in consumption of raw material, water as well as solvents while improving the overall yield of the process from 27% to 64 %
This winning project, for an API molecule of a Canadian pharma company, required the team to develop a process with a focus on improving the yield, streamlining isolation procedures, and eliminating the undesired solvents used in the medicinal chemistry procedure.
The team comprising of Venu Gopal Regula, Satyanarayana Gurajada, A. Sudhakar, Srinivasan M, and Sreenivasulu Bandaru carried out a systematic and quantitative solubility study of the reactant and product, which helped them introduce an environmentally benign, highly water-soluble, thermodynamically stable, polar diprotic solvent, Sulfolane in place of Pyridine, a solvent with an unpleasant odour.
The introduction of Sulfolane as solvent reduced the number of downstream operations such as extraction and distillation, as the product was highly insoluble in water, whereas the process solvent was highly water-soluble. This reduced the batch cycle time significantly and improved yield by 41%. The improved process efficiency also enabled a substantial reduction in the cost of goods for the API molecule.
The third winner at our Green Chemistry Awards 2020 was for an API intermediate synthesis project from an EU-based pharma company that originally involved a 7-step chemical conversion and supply at a metric ton scale annually.
The team comprising of Chennakesava R. Bandi, T. Chandra Harish, T. Murali Krishna, R. Satyanarayana, G. Kondaji Gajulapati, and Rathan Prasad Achampeta transformed the 7-step chemical conversion process into a 4-step telescopic process using a single, easily recoverable solvent. This enabled the team to avoid isolation of low melting intermediates, significantly reduce batch cycle time, and decrease the requirement of downstream equipment, while helping lower the analytical load, water consumption and effluents. Overall, the improved process achieved an increase in yield from 36% to 49.5%.
Earlier this year, Sai Life Sciences also joined the ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable as an ‘Associate Member’. This will allow companies to interact with large pharma and other CDMOs to further share and develop best practices in Green chemistry and sustainability.