Early in the drug discovery process, it is necessary to begin studies on enantiomerically pure compounds due to the potential for unique efficacy and adverse effects associated with one enantiomer versus the other. In general, it is impractical to synthesize these pure samples prior to confirmation of the viability of the candidate compound. Rather, it is necessary to purify the compounds, typically using chromatographic techniques such as preparative-scale high-performance liquid chromatography and supercritical fluid chromatography.
Identifying candidate methods for scale-up can be an expensive process. It typically is time-consuming, but also costly in terms of solvent consumption and instrument time. Perhaps most troubling is the potential for delays in returning samples to the originating chemist for subsequent tests. Recently systems have become available that address these concerns.
An automated chromatographic application databasing and evaluation system (ACADES) can leverage organizational knowledge to reduce the time and number of injections required to develop a purification method, while reducing the manual effort required in the process. Advanced Chemistry Development’s ACADES incorporates database and automation components to compile, evaluate, and leverage a chiral knowledgebase (Figure 1).