Pioneering Solutions for a Greener Future
An innovative method with key leadership from a Bristol Myers Squibb scientist reduces waste by 86% in the process of drug development
A team of BMS scientists has won the 2023 ‘Peter J Dunn Award for Green Chemistry and Engineering Impact in the Pharmaceutical Industry’. The prize was awarded for their work on a new route for producing a specific drug molecule, which has significant benefits for the environment, including a dramatic 86% reduction in the total amount of waste generated.1
At BMS we are aiming to be carbon neutral by 2040, so the need to develop new ways of manufacturing drug molecules that decreases our environmental impact is vitally important.
The award-winning new route designed by a team of BMS scientists exemplified a “Green-by-Design” strategy. Critical to the success of the overall route was a proposal by Dr Shane McKenna from our Moreton site. The proposed process (the ERED/KRED biocatalytic cascade) uses natural, renewable resources such as enzymes to speed up chemical reactions, and the combination of this innovative decision with the overall strategy led to a number of environmental benefits, including:1
- Removing safety risks associated with use of hazardous materials by eliminating the use of volatile organic chemicals
- Dramatically reducing the total amount of waste generated – an 86% reduction in waste equating to 173,000 Kg avoided per 100 Kg of new drug molecule developed
The process developed by the BMS team showcases the ground-breaking science that is at the heart of our innovations, whilst simultaneously demonstrating our commitment to green chemistry, ultimately leading to a brighter future for both our patients and planet.
This process, although unique to the specific drug molecule can be adapted for use with other drug molecules, which will hopefully inspire others – both inside and outside BMS – to adopt a more environmentally friendly approach to drug development that is imperative for sustainability.
About the award
The Peter J. Dunn Award was established in 2016 by the American Chemical Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable (ACSGCIPR) to recognise excellence in the research, development and execution of green chemistry that demonstrates compelling environmental, safety and efficiency improvements over current technologies in the pharmaceutical industry and its allied industrial partners.
1 Peter J. Dunn Award - BMS Submission, 2022.