Developing a batch isolation procedure and running it in an automated semi-continuous unit : AWL CFD25 case study

Ottoboni, Sara and Shahid, Muhid and Steven, Christopher and Coleman, Simon and Meehan, Elizabeth and Barton, Alastair and Firth, Paul and Sutherland, Richard and Price, Chris J. (2020) Developing a batch isolation procedure and running it in an automated semi-continuous unit : AWL CFD25 case study. Organic Process Research and Development, 24 (4). pp. 520-539. ISSN 1083-6160 (

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A key challenge during the transition from laboratory/small batch to continuous manufacturing is the development of a process strategy that can easily be adopted for a larger batch/continuous process. Industrial practice is to develop the isolation strategy for a new drug/process in batch using the design of experiment (DoE) approach to determine the best isolation conditions and then transfer the isolation parameters selected to a large batch equipment/continuous isolation process. This stage requires a series of extra investigations to evaluate the effect of different equipment geometry or even the adaptation of the parameters selected to a different isolation mechanism (e.g., from dead end to cross flow filtration) with a consequent increase of R&D cost and time along with an increase in material consumption. The CFD25 is an isolation device used in the first instance to develop an isolation strategy in batch (optimization mode) using a screening DoE approach and to then verify the transferability of the strategy to a semicontinuous process (production mode). A d-optimal screening DoE was used to determine the effect of varying the input slurry. Properties such as solid loading, particle size distribution, and crystallization solvent were investigated to determine their impact on the filtration and washing performance and the characteristics of the dry isolated product. A series of crystallization (ethanol, isopropanol, and 3-methylbutan-1-ol) and wash solvents (n-heptane, isopropyl acetate and n-dodcane) were used for the process. To mimic a real isolation process, paracetamol-related impurities, acetanilide and metacetamol, were dissolved in the mother liquor. The selected batch isolation strategy was used for the semicontinuous isolation run. Throughput and filtration parameters, such as cake resistance and flow rate, cake residual liquid content and composition, cake purity, particle-particle aggregation, and extent and strength of agglomerates, were measured to evaluate the consistency of the isolated product produced during a continuous experiment and compared with the isolated product properties obtained during the batch process development. Overall, the CFD25 is a versatile tool which allows both new chemical entity process development in batch and the production of the active pharmaceutical ingredient in semicontinuous mode using the same process parameters without changing equipment. The isolated product properties gained during the semicontinuous run are overall comparable between samples. The residual solvent content and composition differs between some samples due to filter plate blockage. In general, the mean properties obtained during semicontinuous running are comparable with the product properties simulated using the DoE.


Ottoboni, Sara ORCID logoORCID:, Shahid, Muhid, Steven, Christopher ORCID logoORCID:, Coleman, Simon, Meehan, Elizabeth, Barton, Alastair, Firth, Paul, Sutherland, Richard and Price, Chris J.;