New Experts Help New England Peptide Combat Global Acetonitrile Shortage
News Jan 09, 2009
New England Peptide, LLC (NEP) has announced its solutions to the worldwide shortage of acetonitrile, a critical chemical ingredient used in the purification and analysis of pharmaceutical and research grade peptides.
In recent months, NEP has added a globally-renowned peptide researcher, Dr. Robert Hodges, to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and named a peptide chemistry expert, Dr. Robert Hammer, as its new Director of Chemical Development.
Hammer and Hodges are leading NEP’s efforts to implement measures to replace acetonitrile as a solvent in the high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) of peptides.
HPLC is a commonly-used process in biochemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry to quantify the purity of compounds such as peptides and also to prepare pure compounds for research and pharmaceutical uses. In recent months, NEP has successfully purified hundreds of peptides using these alternative methods for customers across the globe.
“While the acetonitrile shortage is a challenge to the peptide industry, it also provides an opportunity to create a cost-effective solution to this global crisis,” said NEP CEO Dave Robinson. “The additions of Dr. Hodges and Dr. Hammer to our expert team positions NEP to successfully pursue the use of alternative solvents.”
Acetonitrile is a byproduct of the automotive industry that is the primary chemical solvent used in HPLC analysis and purification of peptides. The global slowdown of the automotive industry, combined with the temporary shuttering of key acetonitrile production plants, has caused a global shortage of the product that could last well into 2009.
Under the direction of Hammer and with the consultation of Hodges, NEP has already started using alternative chemical solvents, including methanol and isopropanol. Hammer noted that the use of these alternative solvents can provide the same level of purity and yield as acetonitrile while not increasing costs.
NEP has already begun to utilize alcohol solvents in its production without delays in delivery of peptide products to customers.
“NEP has already purified hundreds of peptides utilizing alcohol solvents in our production without interruption of service to our customers” said Hammer. “In some cases we even see superior performance in difficult separations.”