Multicomponent chiral quantification with Ultraviolet circular dichroism spectroscopy : ternary and quaternary phase diagrams of Levetiracetam

Charpentier, Maxime D. and Venkatramanan, Raghunath and Rougeot, Céline and Leyssens, Tom and Johnston, Karen and ter Horst, Joop H. (2022) Multicomponent chiral quantification with Ultraviolet circular dichroism spectroscopy : ternary and quaternary phase diagrams of Levetiracetam. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 20 (1). pp. 616-629. ISSN 1543-8384 (

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Chiral molecules are challenging for the pharmaceutical industry because, although physical properties of the enantiomers are the same in achiral systems, they exhibit different effects in chiral systems, such as the human body. The separation of enantiomers is desired but complex, as enantiomers crystallize most often as racemic compounds. A technique to enable the chiral separation of racemic compounds is to create an asymmetry in the thermodynamic system by generating chiral cocrystal(s) using a chiral coformer and using the solubility differences to enable separation through crystallization from solution. However, such quaternary systems are complex and require analytical methods to quantify different chiral molecules in solution. Here we develop a new chiral quantification method using Ultraviolet-Circular Dichroism spectroscopy and multivariate Partial Least Squares calibration models, to build multicomponent chiral phase diagrams. Working on the quaternary system of (R)- and (S)-2-(2-oxopyrrolidin-1-yl)butanamide enantiomers with (S)-mandelic acid in acetonitrile, we measure accurately the full quaternary phase diagram for the first time. By understanding the phase stabilities of the racemic compound and the enantiospecific cocrystal, the chiral resolution of levetiracetam could be designed due to a large asymmetry in overall solubility between both sides of the racemic composition. This new method offers improvements for chiral molecule quantification in complex multicomponent chiral systems and can be applied to other chiral spectroscopy techniques.


Charpentier, Maxime D., Venkatramanan, Raghunath, Rougeot, Céline, Leyssens, Tom, Johnston, Karen ORCID logoORCID: and ter Horst, Joop H. ORCID logoORCID:;