Recently automation of chemistry at pharma is attracting area because of pharma would like to improve productivity I think.
Today I read interesting letter in ACS med chem lett. URL is below.
The article describes the approach of AbbVie. When I was fresh man, combinatorial chemistry is major for library production and there were many solid-phase synthesis instruments. But we do not use them recently.
The author analyzed the reason. One of interesting reason is that if the process is easy to automate, it is probably easy to perform manually. I couldn’t agree more. Lab automation is important for labor saving, researchers to focus more scientific problem so we would like to automate not so simple task.
BTW, drug discovery process is very complex. So it is difficult to automate the flow. It is required wide range of talent to do it.
In the case of AbbVie, they have had electrical and mechanical engineers who possess hundreds of years of experience working in industries ranging from cell phones to aerospace!
For innovation, diversity is key.
In the article the author introduced their instruments for NMP sample maker named SNAPP (source NMR Assay Plate Prep).
The system is well organized and well designed.
Now AbbVie is challenging photo redox reaction automation.
Engineering Chemistry requires wide range of knowledge and skill sets I think. So T-shape skill set is important for pharma I think.
If you have interest, please read the article.