Dispatch from Pittcon 2013

Source: PharmaManufacturing.com

By Steve Kuehn, Editor in Chief

Mar 22, 2013

The full force of industry serving the scientific community was evident at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia the week of March 18, where more than 1,000 exhibitors were on the premises displaying the many products and services industrial, academic and government labs employ to deliver the promise and potential of their work. Without a doubt, the exposition serves to highlight the latest innovations across a broad spectrum of disciplines ranging from analytical chemistry, drug discovery, nanotechnology, life sciences, environmental science and more.

Many exhibitors reserve Pittcon to introduce new offerings and innovations in the process analytical space serving pharma, and the 2013 conference was no different with developments in informatics and process analytical technologies taking center stage for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing’s readers.

In pursuit of efficiencies across commercial laboratory environments, informatics and related information, technologies are emerging to bridge gaps and create synergies that help researchers and clinicians stick to their core competencies while supporting the management and administration of laboratory data as well as other aspects of lab operations to meet research and development and similar business and competitive imperatives.

Looking at LIMS
Accelyrs for example, introduced its new laboratory information management system (LIMS) platform that the company explains will supersede traditional LIMS with a unified, integrated solution that supports product quality and operational effectiveness. Focused on scale-up, manufacturing and compliance, the platform’s process- and execution-driven architecture aims to eliminate the complexities, excessive customization and onerous validation requirements inherent to legacy LIMS.


Intrinsic integration
Aggressively pursuing similar synergies for its customers, Thermo Scientific introduced SampleManager 11, which, according to the company, is the “most configurable version” of its widely deployed LIMS. Featuring new, advanced tools and user-interface enhancements, the new offering promises to improve laboratory process mapping, management and automation in an effort to improve data accuracy, analysis and reporting while conforming to stricter regulations. Users can now build workflows to reflect their individual laboratory processes and take ownership of workflow management while automating the logical decisions driving efficient lab operations. Thermo Scientific chose the venue to introduce its Nicolet iS50 FT-IR spectrometer. According to the company, the iS50 is the first research-grade spectrometer with one-touch operation, purpose-built accessories, and integrated analytical software capabilities creating an all-in-one materials analysis platform that maximizes laboratory productivity. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) is also emerging as a viable, efficacious PAT technology for validation, including downstream release. Thermo Scientific’s picoSpin 45 NMR spectrometer is the company’s first fully featured benchtop NMR instrument, offering users previously inhibited by the cost, size and complexity access to the analytical power of NMR technology.


Terahertz today
Advantest has been innovating in THz-based spectroscopy space and recently expanded the application coverage of its TAS7500 Series of spectroscopic imaging systems with two new systems: the TAS7500SU for wide-band coverage, and the TAS7500SL for low-frequency coverage. Advantest is also offering a new transmittance polarization analysis module. According to Advantest, the new systems and module significantly expand the range of applications for the TAS7500 in pharmaceutical and other settings covered by existing systems, while also delivering the ability to analyze the polarization characteristics of samples.


Polymer analysis
Waters Corporation launched a system that it says “defines a new category of chromatographic polymer analysis. According to Waters, the system delivers improved polymer peak resolution, particularly for low molecular weight polymers and oligomers at a clip up to 20 times faster than traditional gel permeation chromatography (GPC). The ACQUITY Advanced Polymer Chromatography (APC) system features a refractive index detector optimized for low dispersion, but with the low noise and drift performance required for accurate integration, even at low polymer concentrations.


Raman redux
B&W Tek recently introduced enhancements to its i-Raman high resolution TE cooled Raman spectrometer as a chemometric software package, BWIQ. The i-Raman is equipped with B&W Tek’s patented CleanLaze technology for optimal laser stabilization and narrow linewidth. Other features include a spectral resolution as fine as 3cm-1, wide Raman shift coverage up to 4000cm-1, and a TE cooled 2048 pixel CCD array. With its fiber optic interface, it can collect data to within 65cm-1 of the Rayleigh Line. Notable is its high resolution performance comparable to large bench-top Raman systems and field portability with the system weighing in at less than 7 pounds.

Viscosity measurement
By merging the DV-II and touch screen technology Brookfield has created the DV2T, offering, says the company “the most advanced user experience in viscosity testing and measurement.” The DV2T Viscometer features a 5-inch full color display to guide users through test creation and data gathering, new programming capabilities and results analysis including data averaging and QC limits with alarms.

High purity column
Hamilton’s Laboratory and Sensor Products Division’s PRP-C18 Reversed-Phase HPLC Column made its debut, the new system designed to increase the accuracy and quality of separations performed by pharmaceutical companies, environmental scientists and others. According to Hamilton, more than 70% of all drug compounds are amines that are readily separated at high pH. Hamilton’s new column provides high-efficiency reversed-phase separations over an extended column life in nearly any mobile phase at any pH.
Roche and Hamilton Robotics jointly announced the introduction of a new, integrated platform enabling automated DNA sample enrichment for Roche’s 454 GS Junior sequencer. The platform builds on the integration of Roche’s REM e System with Hamilton’s Microlab NIMBUS NGS workstation, resulting in reduced hands-on time, minimized operational variability and more consistent results. Says Roche: “This new integrated platform will replace about four hours of laborious manual work.”


Purity play
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. announced the upcoming spring launch of a new suite of protein purification systems, the NGC medium pressure modular chromatography systems along with a suite of plug-and-play modules that enable researchers to expand the system’s capabilities. The medium pressure chromatography systems are the first of their kind, enabling users to modify their capability based on the users’ changing throughput or application needs.