Istituto di Cristallografia - CNR

An Optimized Safe Process from Bench to Pilot cGMP Production of API Eptifibatide Using a Multigram-Scale Microwave-Assisted Solid-Phase Peptide Synthesizer

A growing industrial interest toward the peptide drug market fueled the need for the development of effective and cGMP compliant manufacturing methods for these complex molecules. Solid-phase strategies are considered methods of election for medium-length peptide syntheses not only on the research scale but for multigram-scale production, as well. The possibility to use microwave-assisted technology on the multigram scale, recently introduced, prompted us to evaluate the possibility to conveniently set up a safe and fully cGMP-compliant pilot process to produce eptifibatide, a generic peptide active pharmaceutical ingredient. Accordingly, we developed an optimized process on the laboratory scale (1-5 mmol), which was subsequently successfully scaled up to 70 mmol, obtaining all the information required by regulatory agencies to validate the process and qualify the pilot scale plant. The process consists of 5 steps: (1) automated microwave-assisted solid-phase synthesis of eptifibatide linear precursor; (2) cleavage from the resin with concomitant amino acid side-chains deprotection; (3) disulfide-bond formation in solution; (4) purification by flash column chromatography; (5) ion-exchange solid-phase extraction. Since the direct scale-up of a multigram-scale cGMP compliant peptide API production procedure is a challenge that requires an accurate understanding of each involved step, we initially performed a quality management risk assessment, which enabled a smooth and effective achievement of a successful final result.

Organic process research & development
Impact factor
D'Ercole, Annunziata; Pacini, Lorenzo; Sabatino, Giuseppina; Zini, Matteo; Nuti, Francesca; Ribecai, Arianna; Paio, Alfredo; Rovero, Paolo; Papini, Anna Maria
Autori IC CNR