Division Spotlight: Reseach Products Division (R&D)

Posted on June 02, 2021

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Dr. Shengrong Li, Executive Director of Research Operations, took time to chat with us and provide insight into what the chemists of Avanti's Research Products Divison have been working on!

What is a new project/initiative that the research chemists are currently working on?

Due to some R&D space and personnel being moved to support GMP production, we are mainly focusing on CMO projects, custom syntheses, and the maintenance of zero backorder status for catalog items. The development of new catalog products has been put on hold temporarily. In the first quarter of 2021, our major accomplishments include the completion of three major CMO projects, research batch production, and process improvement of PHAD, and several custom synthesis projects. We are currently working on the large-scale production of six custom standards, several catalog phospholipids, PEG lipids and detergents, another CMO project, and method development of prostaglandins and bile acids.

Describe the general process that it takes for a customer's custom synthesis project to go from an idea to a finished product.

Customers normally contact us through emails or phone calls to describe their projects. Most of the time, our customers know the exact lipids they need for their study. In this case, they will send us the structures and quantities needed for quotation. Other times, they just have a research idea and ask us to design lipids to accomplish the goal. In this case, we will normally have a video conference with the customer and discuss the feasible target lipids. Once the target lipids are identified, we will have an internal discussion on synthesis and cost. The customer service department will then send a formal quotation to the customers for them to place the order. After we receive the orders, the projects will be assigned to a research group for synthesis. The finished products will be tested by the QC department for product release. The released products will be packaged by our prepackaging and final packaging group for the shipping arrangement. In most cases, customers will request analytical data and technical support after they receive the products.

How has the team of research chemists been able to work with the broader Croda team so far?

We have contributed ideas and sent products for evaluation in crop protection and personal care application. These collaborations with Croda North America and Europe are still ongoing. We have also been involved in the impurity syntheses of some CMO projects, GMP process development, and raw material sourcing. In many of these activities, we worked with other Croda team members to accomplish the goal.

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