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Chemspeed Catalyst Screening Solution has 6 months ROI at AstraZeneca

Catalyst screening is both a nightmare and the Holy Grail in selective synthesis. Companies like AstraZeneca have understood it very well. It is a nightmare because it is very difficult to predict which catalyst-ligand-solvent-additive combination and which conditions will lead to the best results. It is the Holy Grail because if you find the right combination your yields and enantiomeric excess will raise significantly, reducing your production costs dramatically.

To screen such combinations of catalyst, ligands, solvents, additives, conditions, automation and parallelization is key. To address this, AstraZeneca has invested into a Chemspeed CATSCREEN 96 fully automated solution.

After running if for a few months, AstraZeneca states: “Chemspeed’s robotic platform – CATSCREEN 96 – did pay off itself within 6 months! We do screens with wider parameter space, greater control and better quality than if we would by outsourcing the work to different companies”.

If you are interested in discussing how Chemspeed solutions could help you screen for better catalysts, ligands, conditions, please contact us one of our workflow architects will be happy to discuss your needs and design a solution with you.


The global biopharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicines for six important areas of healthcare, which include some of the world’s most serious illnesses: cancer, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, infection, neuroscience, and respiratory and inflammation. They are active in over 100 countries with a growing presence in emerging markets including China, Brazil, Mexico and Russia. AstraZeneca invests over $4 billion in R&D each year and have 9,300 employees at 23 supply and manufacturing sites in 16 countries.

Additional information

August 7, 2011