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Environmental-friendly organic chemical synthesis in plasma reactor

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Plasmanorg (Environmental-friendly organic chemical synthesis in plasma reactor)

Reporting period: 2019-02-01 to 2019-07-31

Pharmaceutical industry continuously needs innovation in drug discovery to prepare new compounds and realise new synthesis routes. However, their effectiveness is limited by the classical methodologies applied in laboratory scale organic chemistry, i.e. use of solvents and ambient conditions.
We developed a revolutionary methodology, Plasmanorg, for the execution of organic chemical reactions without any solvent (and catalyst), induced only by plasma. The reaction conditions can be pre-determined by an intelligent algorithm and can be precisely fine-tuned for the reaction purpose in a wide range.
Our final aim is to commercialise Plasmanorg technology containing a laboratory scale plasma reactor and a software for predicting optimal reaction conditions for synthesis of a given substrate. In this Phase 1 project, we aim to perform a feasibility assessment.
During this Phase 1 project, we validated the feasibility of our project. We confirmed the technical feasibility of Plasmanorg by carrying out validation reactions in our reactor setup. These hydrogenation or oxidation reactions were carried out without any solvent and catalyst, which is a great benefit for users. We validated our business assumptions by a market survey using structured interviews and questionnaires. We interviewed important members form R&D departments of large pharma companies, SMEs of the pharmaceutical sector (e.g. CROs) and academia. We identified the main risks and ranked them according to their severity. We carried out a freedom to operate analysis, identified potential conflicting patents and examined the possible manner of IPR protection for Plasmanorg technology with an IPR expert.
We made a plan for an EIC Accelerator application: work packages, deliverables, milestones, resources were defined. We updated our business plan, including our commercialization strategy.
Plasmanorg technology will disrupt organic chemistry by opening a new parameter window at laboratory scale and providing smart synthesis algorithm. The Plasmanorg technology will be highly valuable for practical organic chemists:
(i) it will help explore undiscovered chemical space,
(ii) this chemical space results in new synthesis routes of valuable compounds or completely new structures, such as new heterocycles (raw material for almost all drugs),
(iii) reaction parameters can be estimated and quickly, as opposed to batch chemistry and
(iv) reaction goes without solvent or catalyst, thus fulfil environmental requirements.
The project will contribute to faster and cheaper synthesis of drug candidates, will lead, in the long run, to less costly drugs, which will be an overall societal benefit. Furthermore, the highly-efficient synthesis methods may lead to new drug candidates may contribute to find drugs for important chronic diseases, such as certain types of cancer or Alzheimer’s disease. The Plasmanorg technology has clear environmental benefits, as it uses neither solvent nor catalysts.
The project will impact on our company: the commercialisation of Plasmanorg technology will result in nearly 7 million euros of revenues, 1.8 million euros of EBIDTA in 5 years and, expectedly, create 60 new jobs in total.