Manuel Nuño talks of the future of peptide synthesis


    Vapourtec’s CSO Manuel Nuño explains why the future of peptide synthesis is linked to continuous flow in the latest issue of Speciality Chemicals Magazine. In the article entitled “Continuous flow brings solid-phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) to a new level” [1], Manuel discusses why flow chemistry will provide to the pharma industry the technological edge in both discovery and scale up arenas of peptide synthesis.

    The market for peptide-based drugs has been steadily increasing since the early 2000’s. SPPS is the easiest route to quickly synthesise a small amount (mg to g) of peptide. Synthesising larger amounts of peptide via traditional batch protocols is not always viable due to the amount of reagent and solvent require.

    Manuel commented: “The question peptide scientists are now asking is how to synthesise libraries of peptides AND gain process knowledge at the same time. At Vapourtec we have been working on addressing such questions for four years. We started by addressing the main problem in CF-SPPS, which is how we handle volume changes. By designing the Variable Bed Flow Reactor (VBFR), we did not only solve this issue, but instantly gained access to a whole new level of in-line data. We now can see how the amino acid is being coupled, as well as the volume of the Fmoc group as it is deprotected. With the VBFR, the resin is kept as its minimum volume, which enable very efficient synthesis in terms of solvent and reagent consumption.

    The article we just published is a reflection on that journey. Thanks to the quality in-line data we learned how to pinpoint difficult sequences, and how to use as little as 1.5 equivalents of amino acid without affecting crude purity. We shared these results with our customer base, so they can synthesise the best quality peptides with our R-Series.

    This journey is far from over, we are still working in innovative syntheses of peptides and even large proteins (stay tuned!).

    [1] M. Nuño“Continuous flow brings SPPS to a new level”, Specialty Chemicals magazine, January 2022


    To read this magazine article click here

    To find out more about Vapourtec's Variable Bed Flow Reactor click here

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