The impact of flow chemistry in the drug discovery process


Flow Chemistry Leader, Syrris, Part of the AGI Group, United Kingdom


Early drug discovery programmes have undergone continuous improvements over the past two decades. The industry has seen a dramatic shift towards the acceptance and implementation of continuous flow techniques, as researchers seek to implement new enabling technologies to reduce the time and cost of bringing novel drugs to market. Flow chemistry has made an impact in most areas of drug discovery, enabling access to new chemistries that are not possible with traditional batch methods, improving reaction efficiencies, saving resources, and enhancing process safety. This article looks at how the development of automated techniques – combined with integrated synthesis, purification and analysis – has greatly increased the speed with which novel compounds can be delivered to rapidly progress early stages of drug discovery.

Continuous flow techniques are increasingly being used across drug discovery, development and production to improve processes and access new chemistries that simply aren’t possible with traditional batch methods. More and more pharmaceutical chemists understand the applications of this technique, and the benefits it provides, leading to senior management at all stages of the drug lifecycle looking to continuous flow chemistry to improve reaction efficiencies, save resources and improve safety. While each stage of the drug discovery and development process will see specific benefits when implementing continuous flow techniques, the pharmaceutical industry’s desire to ultimately move towards continuous manufacturing means all stages of the drug lifecycle need to be aware of – and potentially implement – these techniques. Our focus here is on the impact, implementation, and key drivers of flow chemistry for drug discovery and how automation is helping early hit-to-lead and lead generation programs.


The medicinal chemistry and drug discovery process
Pursuing novel classes of compounds that can be used as new medicines for the tr ...