Productivity will play a big role in future advances in SFC chiral methods. Much of the problem in progressing the technique
stems from the fact that a lot of SCF work so far has been conducted with proprietary compounds and information is not available.
Regis scientists are conducting studies involving different chiral phases from two manufacturers, with one column in a series
being used for mixing. "I think the biggest improvements will come in the machinery. Advances in the machinery and feedback
from companies will move the technology forward," says Mannerino. "When a manufacturer does research, it a completely different
story than when it is done in other settings. We are in constant communication with equipment manufacturers."
As with any chromatographic technique, continued compliance with US Food and Drug Administration regulations is an issue.
For this reason, the approval of SFC chiral methods is another important factor in its success. "A validated synthesis will
always be favorable over a chromatographic technique, even when it doesn't make sense financially or scientifically,"says
Mannerino. Perhaps the greatest obstacle, however, is convincing high-level personnel. "It's just fighting old-school thinking,"he
says. have a lot of upper management in companies that didn't grow up with advanced chromatography techniques, and they didn't
go to school or internships with it. There are so many variables that you can't explain in chromatography, and so in their
eyes it's not a reliable technique. Many organic chemists won't buy into it. It's changing slowly."
This article is based on an interview with Francis Mannerino, director of chromatography at Regis Technologies (Morton Grove, IL).