Mya 4 and Reactor-Ready are helping CatSci deliver life-changing pharmaceuticals


In this article we hear from the team at CatSci, a contract research organisation, about how Radleys chemistry tools help them accelerate the delivery of life-changing pharmaceuticals to patients in need.

CatSci currently have 8 cutting edge laboratories, all with great quality fume cupboards and an excellent team of scientific experts. We spoke to Rob Crook, Director of Chemical Sciences, and his team at CatSci about how they deliver scientific expertise to their clients, and why Radleys equipment is key to their success.

The Mya 4 Reaction Station is a piece of kit which really allows us to collect high-quality data. Having high quality controlled automated lab reactors, like the Mya 4, is really important to allow us to deliver successful projectsRob Crook, Director of Chemical Sciences, CatSci

Beth Hindley-Rees, Associate Principal Scientist, CatSci

The Radleys equipment that we have in the lab really helps the analytical team because, we are really focused on developing rapid, fit for purpose methods. We are often limited by the speed that the chemists can generate those samples. So having equipment that is automated, that will allow the chemist to generate samples, very quickly means that we can then analyse the samples quickly, to provide the data that they need to go forward with their projects.

Dr Charlotte Dalton, Associate Principal Scientist, CatSci

Prior to having Mya 4 Reaction Stations, we were doing a lot of one-off experiments, and clearly setting things up in round bottom flasks is quite difficult. It’s a lot of space for the scientists to have to set up multiple round bottom flasks, it can be quite fiddly to do that too. Having the Mya 4 it is more of a platform where they can set up multiple experiments at once.

And as a project leader, I am comfortable to request the scientists to set up three or four experiments. I know they’ve got the equipment to be able to do that. I think my favourite feature of the Mya 4 would be just how much you can get done in there at once.

I think my favourite feature of the Mya 4 would be just how much you can get done in there at onceDr Charlotte Dalton, Associate Principal Scientist, CatSci

As a project manager, something that’s always on my mind is how can we deliver that value for the customers and make them happy and come back to CatSci. By getting through lots of experiments at once and getting some great data, along with our scientists and technical expertise, we deliver that as a package to the customer. And they’re very happy with the results, which is typically what we see.

We use the Reactor-Ready typically when we have developed a process. We’re starting to get into the phase where we really want to see how that behaves on a certain scale. How does it behave in a fixed vessel? We’re thinking ahead to going to plant scale in the future for the customer. The Reactor-Readys are invaluable for this work, because it’s a scaled down model of what things will be on the big scale. The fact we can interchange the sizes as well just makes it a lot easier. The scientists don’t have to switch around between different vessels.

Dr Elise Rochette, Senior Scientist, CatSci

We use Reactor-Ready to scale up crystallisations, so we usually heat, cool, try to form crystals, sometimes adding anti-solvents. The Reactor-Readys are great because the lids are adapted to the Blaze probe, which means we can follow the crystallisation live.

The Reactor-Readys are great because the lids are adapted to the Blaze probe, which means we can follow the crystallisation liveDr Elise Rochette, Senior Scientist, CatSci

What I didn’t expect is, because they are all standardised including the height of the stirrer, it makes modelling in Dynochem software really easy. We can use it for mixing modelling in particular. In crystallisation, mixing is really important for particle size. Getting this modelling and this data is very important for our clients. Reactor-Ready makes things very flexible; we can change the reactor depending on the project needs. One day you can do a 250 ml, and then immediately do a 1 L, which is a lot of flexibility.

Dr Lloyd Murfin, Senior Scientist, CatSci

Having a Reactor-Ready, the workflow changes in that you get a lot more data early on. You’re not suddenly hit by surprise issues when it comes to mass transfer later. You’re not faced with unexpected exotherms that you can’t control. Visually, you get an appreciation of how things look when they scale up.

One of the best features of the Reactor-Ready is the fact that you can change vessel sizes easily. It’s easy to cut off all your circulation, take one vessel off, put the next vessel on and you’re ready to go. With other vessels I’ve tried to do the same thing in the past, and it’s quite easy to lead to oil leaks, lots of mess, lots of time cleaning. You could spend as much time cleaning as you do to change the vessel. With Reactor-Ready vessels this is prevented, and you’re saving loads of time.