Self-optimisation research from Richard Bourne’s group in iPRD was highlighted by the RSC journal Reaction Chemistry and Engineering using a cover designed by one of our final year PhD students, Nick Holmes.
The work involved the use of an automated flow reactor and feedback algorithms to rapidly optimise the final step in the synthesis of AZD9291, a EGFR kinase inhibitor developed by AstraZeneca. Proof-of-concept on a model compound allowed impurity formation to be tracked and gave mechanistic understanding to the reactions occurring. By using at-line HPLC and evolutionary algorithms, the reaction can be optimised quickly, minimising the time and resource costs often required using one-variable-at-a-time and design-of-experiment optimisation approaches. In addition, the team included material minimisation steps to reduce waste of costly starting materials and rapid cooling reduced the time between experiments.
To find out more information about the research, the paper can be accessed here.