The ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable Celebrates its 10th Year

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In the early 2000s, the director of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute®, Dr. Paul Anastas, initiated a discussion with the Dr. Berkeley “Buzz” Cue, a leader in green chemistry at Pfizer, about the possibility of starting a collaborative group that would work to catalyze the broader adoption of green chemistry and engineering in the pharmaceutical industry. These discussions turned into meetings, and in 2005 the ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable was established.

Ten years later the Roundtable looks back at an impressive set of accomplishments, and the roundtable concept has led to the establishment of three other ACS GCI roundtables—Formulators’ in 2007, Chemical Manufacturer’s in 2009 and Hydraulic Fracturing in 2014.


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"Since its creation in 2005, the ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable has been driving the development of innovative ‘green’ approaches to address some of the most important sustainability challenges in the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals," says Dr. Juan Colberg, Technology & Innovation, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Worldwide Research and Development, Pfizer and Co-Chair of the ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable.  "Over the last 10 years and through the Roundtable’s grant program, we have been able to make significant advancements such as greener solvent alternatives, less toxic catalytic conditions and biocatalytic transformations."

Some of the key accomplishments of the Roundtable include the development of a common solvent selection guide; a process mass intensity calculator and reagent guide; publication of an article outlining key research areas that has been cited 347 times and helped set the agenda for the Roundtable’s grant program (look for an update article later this year); $1.58 million dollars in grants awarded; and numerous publications, presentations and symposia.

"As we look ahead with our collaboration, the Roundtable will continue to sponsor exciting research and development in green alternatives," continues Colberg. "By working together, we can help develop processes that are more sustainable, environmentally sound and cost-effective."

This year, the Roundtable will be holding three events in honor of its anniversary:

Green Chemistry Makes a Difference: Innovations Leading to a More Sustainable Pharmaceutical Industry

The call for posters is open through February 28th for this one-day symposium to be held April 16, 2015, at F. Hoffmann-La Roche in Basel, Switzerland. Registration is free and limited, so if you are interested in attending, please register soon!

19th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

The Roundtable is putting together a day-long symposium on green chemistry accomplishments in the pharmaceutical industry over the last 10 years and challenges on the horizon in North Bethesda, Maryland, July 14-16, 2015. Additionally, many other sessions of relevance to the industry will be featured. The call for papers remains open for these sessions through March 13, 2015.

Green Chemistry Makes a Difference: Pharmaceutical Industry/Academic Collaborations

The Roundtable will organize two sessions covering green chemistry organic chemistry topics at the 250th ACS National Meeting & Exposition in Boston during August 16-20, 2015.

Congratulations to the Roundtable! Current members include Amgen; AstraZeneca; Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Bristol-Myers Squibb; Cubist Pharmaceuticals; Codexis; Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd.; Eli Lilly and Company; F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd.; GlaxoSmithKline; Johnson & Johnson; Merck & Co., Inc.; Novartis; Pfizer Inc.; Sanofi and ACS GCI.

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