As compared to traditional batch chemistry, continuous flow chemistry is emerging as a more efficient process that has a substantially lower downtime. Over the past years, the chemical industry has been using continuous production techniques. The flow reactors, however, have started gaining high visibility in the pharmaceutical sector more recently, with more devices becoming available for use at the laboratory scale.

In response to the growing number of highly potent active pharmaceutical ingredients (HPAPIs) and APIs that require niche and specialized chemistry, Angelini Fine Chemicals invested in micro-reaction and flow chemistry technology for the research and development and Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) production for the pharma market. Furthermore, several APIs have been approved and investigated as potential COVID-19 treatments, thereby strengthening the flow chemistry market.

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Due to the accelerated use of flow chemistry in the pharmaceutical industry, varied technology solutions vendors are taking strategic initiatives to expand novel flow reactors offerings, 4 examples of which are listed below:

  1. Almac-Irish Manufacturing Research collaboration to design 3D-printed flow reactors

To support the local production and designing of reactors and mixers for additive manufacturing, pharmaceutical manufacturing services providers have been making targeted efforts over the years. Such initiatives have been adopted to offer clients the best available technology to help meet their processing needs. For example, in November 2021, Almac Sciences inked a flow chemistry collaboration with Irish Manufacturing Research to design 3D-printed flow reactors as well as static mixers. The planned project has leveraged the Additive Manufacturing technology, making previously unobtainable chemistry plausible.

  1. Sterling’s spending on flow chemistry research for commercial applications

Over the years, flow chemistry equipment and devices have been gaining high popularity since technology solutions vendors are continuing to expand continuous flow chemistry applications. To cite an instance, in September 2021, Sterling completed the initial phase of an investment at its site in Dudley, the UK. This spending was aimed at creating a Center of Excellence for research into commercial uses of continuous flow chemistry. The company also has plans to provide scale-up expertise of this technology in terms of safety, efficiency, and economics to cater to customers, thereby adding impetus to the growth of the flow chemistry industry.

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  1. Syrris’ Asia Photochemistry Reactor for petrochemicals and other sectors

Over the years, more chemical manufacturing product developers are targeting to join the photochemistry movement and enable chemists to control experiments manually or with the use of intuitive automation software. For instance, in June 2021, Syrris announced the addition of the Asia Photochemistry Reactor to its award-winning Asia Flow Chemistry range. This reactor was developed for a variety of novel photochemistry applications in sectors, including petrochemicals, agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, as well as academic institutions. Developments of photochemical reactors such as these could allow the flow chemistry market to thrive in the years ahead.

  1. Establishment of Center of Excellence for flow chemistry in India

In emerging nations like India, government bodies are planning to facilitate the development of technology hubs for flow chemistry. In November 2021, the Hyderabad government announced the establishment of a multi-industry-supported Center of Excellence (CoE) for Flow Chemistry. This initiative was to ensure greater incorporation of the flow chemistry techniques in pharmaceutical research and development and increased adoption of continuous synthesis for API manufacturing. With this new CoE, the Government of Telangana was also planning to encourage more industries to join the consortium as well as benefit from it, thus supporting the region’s flow chemistry technology hubs.

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