Latest news from Reach Separations - an outsource purification company, that provides chiral and achiral purification from 5mgs to 200 grams. We support all types of companies in discovery, intermediate and the fine chemicals environment.
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Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We've had yet another busy month here at Reach Separations. After our exploits at 'Chirality 2014' in Prague last month we've been off to Lisbon at the 'XXIII International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry'. In this newsletter we've got the story of a day in the life of a chiral sample and a profile of our newest scientist Dikivitila Fundu for you to read.

As always, if you want to know more about anything in this newsletter or anything else about Reach for that matter just drop me a line

Best regards, Peter Ridgway - Business Development Director (BDD)

XXIII International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry

Pete and Toria attended the XXIII International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC-ISMC) in Lisbon last week. The Portuguese Chemical Society did a fantastic job of hosting the event with an interesting and informative programme. The organisation of the event for both delegates and exhibitors was fantastic from the poster presentations to the lectures to the banquet dinner.

Attendees had the opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new ones with delegates from all over Europe and as far away as the University of Auckland, NZ. We took the chance to talk to lots of new faces from institutions and industry and strengthened relationships with existing clients, meeting face to face rather than interacting through a CRO.

During a busy few days the Lisbon Congress centre not only hosted the ISMC but also the Portuguese X-Factor, we were tempted to audition but the thought of Portugal's answer to Simon Cowell sent us running back to the safety of our stand!

Lisbon is a fantastic city, which the Reach team got to experience first-hand after a slight mishap by the hotel saw them staying a short taxi ride up the coast. Accommodation mishaps besides, a quaint old town, fantastic food and Atlantic beaches all make Lisbon special, you might even say it had the 'X-Factor'!

A day in the life of a chiral sample.

In any given week Reach Separations can get up to 20 samples entering the lab. The life of a sample here at Reach is a short but interesting one. This is the story of a standard sample for chiral purification as it passes through one of our laboratories.

The journey begins when a client registers a sample using our online submission and reporting system; this is a quick and secure way for our clients to transfer all sample information to us. The entire lab team then receives an alert regarding the incoming sample immediately, allowing them to allocate resources efficiently.

An Agilent 1100 LCMS fitted with diode array detection (DAD) records the chemical purity. A gradient method is performed on a C18 column and the UV trace, TIC are recorded and the lambdamax and molecular weight determined. This is then uploaded to the sample area, allowing our clients to see our initial purity data.

Each sample is then screened across normal phase, polar organic, reversed phase HPLC and SFC. This occurs in parallel, usually overnight in order to maximise capacity. Once a method has been found it is developed by one of the team and transferred straight to preparative scale on either one of the three Berger Multi Gram preparative SFC systems or one of four chiral Gilsons.

Our Gilson HPLC systems are adapted specifically for enantiomeric and diastereomeric separations, collecting in timed windows into durans, virtually eliminating the possibility of human error during fraction manipulation (see this blog for more details). Whether by HPLC or SFC, a method will be found incorporating stacked injections to ensure a high quality separation in an efficient manner in order to meet Reach’s self-imposed strict deadlines.

Post purification fractions are combined and dried using a rotary evaporator. At this stage they are reanalysed on both the developed chiral method and a reversed phase achiral method. This ensures the chiral specification has been met and that the chemical purity has not been compromised during the chiral separation.

Once analysis has been carried out the samples are transferred in DCM to pre-tared vials and the analysis checked once more. This final quality data is uploaded to the secure submission and reporting system.

The samples are placed in a vacuum oven overnight, and dried to a constant weight. The final report is then compiled and the samples are finally dispatched back to the client using a fast and reliable courier service.

Depending on the amount of material, its lifetime at Reach Separations can be anything from one day to two weeks. Typically we aim to return five grams or less inside of five working days. However the scientists at Reach will always endeavour to return the sample to the client as quickly as possible.

Dikivitila Fundu

Dikivitila Fundu has joined us from Warwick University where she is studying towards her MChem Chemistry. She will be undertaking a RSC research project on achiral SFC whilst working as a separation scientist alongside the lab team.
As well as studying Chemistry, Diki is also a campaigner for charity; Save the Congo. Her hobbies include playing piano and baking (mostly eating) delicious pastries. You can contact Diki via email at or email the lab team at

9 Edges

Technical Director Phil Abbott took to the mountains again this month as he completed the 21 mile race across the Peak District. The Route started at the dam wall at Derwent Reservoir where 617 Squadron practised for their famous 'Dam Busters' raid. After ascending up to Back Tor the route headed south over 9 different gritstone 'edges' including Curbar, Froggatt and Stanage edge. Taking just under 4 hours Phil said afterwards that it was just as hard as a marathon.

Over the next few months Reach Separations will be exhibiting at the following conferences / Symposia:

SFC 2014 : Basel, Switzerland, 8-10 October 2014

If you are in attendance at any of the above please call in to see us and have a chat.
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Our mailing address is:
BioCity Nottingham, Pennyfoot Street, Nottingham, NG1 1GF