Bringing Global Industrial Collaboration to Indianapolis

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By Isamir Martinez and Christiana Briddell, ACS Green Chemistry Institute
 

What does the pharma and agricultural industry have in common? Quite a lot, it turns out. Much of the value that green chemistry and engineering bring to the development of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) can apply equally well to the design and production of bulk agrochemicals.

By Isamir Martinez, Sr. Portfolio Manager, Scientific and Business Engagement, ACS Green Chemistry Institute, and Christiana Briddell, Portfolio Manager, Sustainability and Green Chemistry Communication, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

What does the pharma and agricultural industry have in common? Quite a lot, it turns out. Much of the value that green chemistry and engineering bring to the development of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) can apply equally well to the design and production of bulk agrochemicals. That is why the ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable (GCIPR) decided a few years back to open membership to companies working on crop protection and animal health. Fast forward to Spring 2023 when over 60 attendees (representing 29 companies) converged on Indianapolis to participate in a GCIPR meeting co-hosted by members Eli Lilly (pharma) and Corteva (agro).

GCIPR members meeting at Corteva's facility in Indianapolis in March 2023.GCIPR members meeting at Corteva's facility in Indianapolis in March 2023.

The meeting at Corteva was the first time this group of global companies had been hosted by a non-pharma company, and it represents a direct outcome of the strong cross-industrial collaboration between the agriscience and the pharmaceutical industry to advance green chemistry for a sustainable future. Corteva has been a member of the pharma roundtable since 2019 and is a big contributor to many of the GCIPR focus teams such as Artificial Intelligence and Biodegradation, among many others. During the meeting, participants enjoyed an educational tour of the Corteva facilities, which include acres of greenhouses used for product testing.

GCIPR members at Lilly facilities in Indianapolis.GCIPR members at Lilly facilities in Indianapolis.

On the subsequent day, the meeting shifted to Lilly’s site where leaders shared their approaches, perspectives, and sustainability goals. As a premeeting bonus, a tour of the Lilly Museum showcased the history of the company founded in 1876 and its importance in the development of the city of Indianapolis. Lilly is a GCIPR founding member and active collaborator in many Roundtable focus areas, especially in Greener Approaches to Peptides and Oligonucleotides Syntheses. 

Not only are the global pharma and agriculture companies represented in the Roundtable, but also companies in the supply chain, and during this two-day meeting, GCIPR welcomed two new suppliers, STPharm and PharmaBlock. Discussions were presented by some of the new focus teams including a) Biodegradation and PFAS, b) a proposal to create a sustainability roadmap, and c) how pharma can continue partnering and incentivizing suppliers to advance innovations on the synthesis of intermediates and commodity chemicals with the goal to advance green chemistry and engineering for a sustainable industry. 

Organizers and speakers in the GCIPR session at the ACS Spring 2023.Organizers and speakers in the GCIPR session at the ACS Spring 2023.

Furthermore, as part of GCIPR’s Educating Leaders strategic priority, members of the Roundtable contributed to the ACS Spring 2023 by delivering a successful workshop on Practical Green Chemistry Tools and Techniques for R&D Scientists as well a well-attended ORGN division symposium on "Green Chemistry and Engineering: Designing and Discovering Innovative Solutions to Achieve a Sustainable Future". Look for upcoming symposiums and workshops offered by the Roundtable at the GC&E Conference in Long Beach and the ACS Fall 2022 in San Francisco.

Presenters and participants in the GCIPR workshop at ACS Spring 2023.Presenters and participants in the GCIPR workshop at ACS Spring 2023.

The unique global industrial collaboration, now in its 18th year, between the ACS Green Chemistry Institute, pharma, CMOs, and companies in agro and animal science, continues making an impressive impact as they work together to find innovative ways to manufacture sustainable bioactive ingredients. 

Learn more about the GCIPR at https://www.acsgcipr.org.

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