Chiral Technologies

The niche field of chiral technologies has hugely impacted routes to discovery and means of production of pharmaceuticals and other chemical compounds. It is concerned with the stereoselective production and analysis of specific chiral isomers.

1. Traditional Methods

The implementation of traditional technologies is a $5 billion market and represents 55 percent of the total chiral revenues. These techniques are used to simultaneously produce both enantiomers (to develop chiral intermediates) or to generate only one enantiomer (to develop end-use chemicals).

2. Asymmetric

The implementation of asymmetric technologies is more than $3 billion market, representing 35 percent of the total chiral revenues. The main driver for this method is the volume and waste reduction. However, the techniques for chiral synthesis have been highly complex, sophisticated and specialized; and the technology platforms developed for the purpose need to be adapted for each product. This makes the adoption of the technique for manufacturing purposes very expensive and difficult.

3. Biological

Implementation of biological technologies is about $1 billion market and accounts for 10 percent of total chiral revenues. The main growth is fuelled by the high versatility, selectivity and performance of biological material alongside rapid advances in manufacture and supply. Due to the chemo-, regio- and stereo-selective nature of the biological process, the reaction products are usually formed without the need for massive experimental optimization, However because of its need for specialized conditions and challenges in process technology development, adapting it for industrial scale-up operation has been very difficult.

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