Steroid removal

Steroid removal • Inopsys

API Removal - Steroid

At the CESPE event in Ghent Bie Lambert and Bert Heirman talked about Environmental sustainability in the Small Molecules Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient’s synthesis: from global policy into action.  Very honored that they highlighted also our joint Plant on A Truck project. Two examples of how we together with The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson implemented multiple on-site and sustainable solutions for wastewater containing catalyst and API.

The challenge we got was to develop a process to remove a steroidal API out of a complex wastewater.  The API is Abiraterone Acetate and is the active compound of Zytiga, a prostate cancer medicine.

Discharge limit of our unit max 0,1 ppb. In the development of a possible solution we always screen several technologies.  The combined technology solution is determined based upon:

  • Removal efficiency
  • In case of destructive methods (AOP) the formation of decomposition or by-products
  • CO2 footprint
  • Economic feasibility

We transformed a linear process, transport and incineration, into a circular process. Catalyst is removed and recovered, API, steroid in this case, is removed and water is API free and does not have to go to incineration. On top the CO2 footprint is reduced!

Our unit is mobile and modular.  This has some advantages:

  • No on-site assembly - safety
  • Easy to move
  • No real infrastructure adaptation or big CAPEX required
  • Side stream composition change can be handled with replacement or addition of new module(s)

Nice example of big Pharma that has had the courage to engage with an innovative scale up company to implement sustainability and circularity in their core activities. 
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