CPhI Online

PharmaBlock Opens New Facility in Zhejiang, China

27 Sep 2020

(a) Micropacked Bed Reactor; (b) Digital Automated Control System-DCS; (c) Flow Chemistry Lab in CETC

New chemistry and engineering technology center highlights the application of micropacked bed technology in continuous manufacturing

This article was orginally published in Contact Pharma magiazine.

PharmaBlock Sciences (Nanjing), Inc.  has launched a new Chemistry and Engineering Technology Center (CETC) located next to its GMP manufacturing site in Shangyu, Zhejiang Province, China. The addition of the CETC will further strengthen PharmaBlock’s chemistry and engineering technology platform while enabling greener, safer and more efficient process chemistry and manufacturing capabilities.

The new technology center covers an area of 32,300 square feet and cost $8 million. Featuring state of the art assets and experienced chemists and engineers, the CETC is committed to delivering innovative solutions with a focus on flow chemistry, micropacked bed reaction, biocatalysis, and an array of engineering technologies, including but not limited to separation, crystallization, and application of DCS and process simulation.

“Today, increased pressure for green, safe and sustainable supply chain management within the pharmaceutical industry has given rise to innovative chemistry and engineering technologies,” said Dr. Minmin Yang, founder and chairman, PharmaBlock. “We consider innovative technologies a fundamental part and cornerstone of PharmaBlock’s current and future success, and as a key component of our overall innovation strategy, the CETC will definitely consolidate our competitiveness.”

Among these new technologies PharmaBlock has implemented, the application of micropacked bed in flow hydrogenation is in the spotlight. Such a niche problem-solving technology, which has been increasingly adopted in the industry, is not only applied at lab scale, but also in pilot and manufacturing scale at PharmaBlock, with a daily output of 100kg to 1000kg.

“Micropacked beds have been successfully applied to the development and manufacturing of several dozens of our projects. We have seen many superiorities the micropacked bed creates over conventional methods: lower safety risk, lower wastes, cost and space saving, consistent quality, and robust process with simple control,” said Dr. Yuanping Jie, head of CETC, PharmaBlock. “In addition to the existing 5L and 10L micropacked bed reactors designed by our in-house engineering team, the CETC will add more scale-up equipment, expand the application into more reaction types, like oxidation, and enhance the automated mode to further ensure safety and high efficiency.”

According to the company, PharmaBlock customers will benefit from the addition of the CETC in many ways. Most notably, sitting next to the Zhejiang GMP site, the CETC will support more innovative solutions to help overcome scale up challenges in customers' projects, resulting in shortened lead times and reduced overall costs. The CETC also takes responsibility to optimize the scale up process of PharmaBlock's building blocks, which could be broadly used in many clinical and market drugs' manufacturing.