During early development of an NCE, process chemists are charged with finding a commercially viable route within a time-constrained environment. Following commercialisation, these scientists move on to the next blockbuster and justifiably little attention is devoted to evaluating alternative syntheses that can cut manufacturing costs. But, through its flagship service RouteDesign, ROW2 Technologies Inc believes an invaluable service for process chemists during route selection is at hand.

The company enhances innovation and intellectual assets for life sciences companies. Through its service RouteDesign, it aims to forge previously undisclosed synthetic routes to any target compound based on commercially practised chemistries.

Innovative routes

ROW2 has developed a route-building software called ChemSpire. Using revolutionary search techniques and proprietary algorithms, the ROW2 team can identify analogous commercial chemistries, often leading to previously undisclosed approaches to a company’s target molecule.

This search for analogous results, coupled with a knowledge base of commercially practised chemistries, has yielded powerful, novel and scalable syntheses with many benefits to chemists and their companies.

Companies use RouteDesign throughout the lifecycle of a chemical. At the early development stage, the service is used to evaluate a broad set of workable synthetic pathways, a process that often acts as a stimulus for an enhanced range of ideas. This serves to reduce costs and lessen the need to redo portions of the pivotal toxicology studies. When used for late-phase and marketed products, it provides further patent protection for a target molecule from a synthetic standpoint and lower manufacturing costs of a compound.

As a service extension, ROW2 provides laboratory services confined to proof of concept for the route ideas generated in RouteDesign projects. ROW2 ‘s director of process chemistry solutions, Dr Dhananjay Rane, cites an example where a company was going to discontinue a commercial product due to a price drop in the market below its current cost of manufacturing.

"Through RouteDesign, ROW2 was able to determine a new synthetic route that has been reduced to practice and cut the manufacturing costs by 44%, making the product profitable again for the company," he says.

Team strength and confidentiality norms

To ensure a consistent output, ROW2 has assembled a team of highly skilled and talented chemists from across various industries. These experts are trained in an atmosphere geared towards promoting ‘out-of-the-box thinking’.

With stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs), audited by a number of global pharmaceutical companies and customised confidentiality norms, ROW2 has taken every measure to protect its customers’ IP. Secured e-rooms, secured e-repository systems and controlled access at all stages of the project are just a few examples of the strict SOPs followed.

"Our customised unique offerings are strengthened further with intense degree of transparency, confidentiality and flexibility," says Srini Gopalan, CEO of ROW2 Technologies. "These have led to industry players recognising ROW2 as cerebral partners, contributing significantly to their IP-generation needs."

To date, ROW2 has successfully delivered over 60 RouteDesign projects. ROW2’s customers include seven of the top ten global pharmaceutical companies, six leading agrochemical companies and four of the top five chemical companies in the world. Currently, ROW2 is working towards strategic partnering with a number of these customers.

The process head from one of the top pharmaceutical companies, who cannot be named due to ROW2’s stringent confidentiality policy, is duly impressed. "ROW2’s RouteDesign service has given us many novel route ideas for our target molecules,2 he says. "The diverse route ideas recommended in RouteDesign reports also act as an excellent stimulus to our own thought process. The ROW2 team is very responsive and follows strict security norms. We have been using RouteDesign service satisfactorily for the past three years."

Based on such customer feedback, RouteDesign has proved to be an extremely well-regarded approach to determining strategic synthetic pathways throughout the lifecycle of a compound. It is quickly gaining broad acceptance across the industry as ROW2 moves ahead along the route to success.

Company profile

ROW2 Technologies has its core strengths in the synthetic organic industry, cheminformatics and the creation of knowledge bases on the global chemical industry. The company’s headquarters is based in Parsippany, New Jersey, US, with offices in India, Japan and Italy, and ROW2 services companies across 20 countries.