Engineering firm in Fornham St Genevieve cited for its work in producing cancer treatment drug

Andrew Mansfield at Vapourtec
Andrew Mansfield at Vapourtec
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Engineering firm Vapourtec in Fornham St Genevieve has developed a pump cited by a University of Cambridge academic paper, as helping people at risk of breast cancer.

The firm’s V-3 pump is used to produced a Tamoxifen, using a chemistry flow process.

Prof Steven V Ley at the university’s Department of Chemistry, led research published in the Organic Process Research and Development journal, cite the pump as a critical component in making the drug which the National Institue for Heath and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend is taken by ‘at risk groups’.

Vapourtec Managing Director Duncan Guthrie, who founded the company in 2003, saidd: “We work with and supply our technology to many research bodies, universities and industrial and commercial organisations but this could be one of our biggest breakthroughs to date.

“The newly developed V-3 pump, incorporated within our own E-series flow chemistry system delivers a much more efficient and effective answer to the production of Tamoxifen and offers a clear template for future pharmaceutical research.

“The group of Professor Steven V Ley published a paper in the influential journal Organic Process Research & Development that describes a telescoped continuous flow process that produces Tamoxifen at the rate of one dose every five seconds.

“In June of this year the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended that Tamoxifen should be taken by ‘at-risk’ groups of women because the drug can help prevent the contraction of breast cancer.

“Existing approaches for the production of Tamoxifen present a number of challenges however the V-3 provides an alternative, novel approach resulting from its ability to pump previously difficult to handle reagents based on its unique pumping ability.”

Dr Duncan Browne of Cambridge University, a member of the research team, said: “The V-3 pump has enabled us to expand previous flow chemical reactions into truly continuous processes that produce significant quantities of materials.

“The simplified pumping of organometallic species have allowed us to access reactions and reactivity that we have previously found difficult.”

Andrew Mansfield, Applications Specialist with Vapourtec, said: “This is a very important paper from Cambridge University that reports on a significant breakthrough in flow chemistry with our E-series system, incorporating the V-3 pump, proving to be a critical component of the entire process.

“This is a perfect example of how technological innovation in the field of flow chemistry can deliver more effective and efficiently manufactured solutions for a wide variety of industries, including pharmaceuticals.”