At Bachem, we are committed to sustainability by taking responsibility towards our employees, the society, and the environment. We aim to redesign our processes to minimize the use and generation of hazardous substances, and reduce the environmental impact. In the pharmaceutical industry, solvent consumption generates a significant environmental footprint. Research is conducted to decrease solvent volumes or for substituting them by environmentally benign solvents. Both represents an impactful innovation in API production processes. We are a leading company in the development and manufacture of peptide and oligonucleotide APIs. In peptide manufacturing, our most important technology and core expertise is the solid-phase peptide synthesis (SPPS), a well-established method for peptide production.
In the attempt to make the SPPS a greener technology, we conducted, in collaboration with our partner Novo Nordisk, two studies to propose solvent alternatives to replace the reprotoxic N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF), dichloromethane (DCM) and N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP). These solvents are the gold standards in SPPS processes for academic research and industrial production facilities alike. They have excellent solubilization and stability properties for reagents and are the best choice in terms of resin swelling. Yet they are to be restricted by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) due to their hazardous nature. Replacing DMF, DCM and NMP for a greener alternative represents a huge challenge, but a great improvement towards reduced environmental footprint processes.