Towards medicinal mechanochemistry: evolution of milling from pharmaceutical solid form screening to the synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs)
This overview highlights the emergent area of mechanochemical reactions for making active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), and covers the latest advances in the recently established area of mechanochemical screening and synthesis of pharmaceutical solid forms, specifically polymorphs, cocrystals, salts and salt cocrystals. We also provide an overview of the most recent developments in pharmaceutical uses of mechanochemistry, including real-time reaction monitoring, techniques for polymorph control and approaches for continuous manufacture using twin screw extrusion, and more. Most importantly, we show how the overlap of previously unrelated areas of mechanochemical screening for API solid forms, organic synthesis by milling, and mechanochemical screening for molecular recognition, enables the emergence of a new research discipline in which different aspects of pharmaceutical and medicinal chemistry are addressed through mechanochemistry rather than through conventional solution-based routes. The emergence of such medicinal mechanochemistry is likely to have a strong impact on future pharmaceutical and medicinal chemistry, as it offers not only access to materials and reactivity that are sometimes difficult or even impossible to access from solution, but can also provide a general answer to the demands of the pharmaceutical industry for cleaner, safer and efficient synthetic solutions.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Celebrating the ChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship Winners, Most cited Features from 2016, 2017 and Pharmaceutical Solids