The concept of the CHEM21 project is to develop an improved ‘sustainable chemistry’ tool–box with new synthetic methods for the manufacture of APIs that are more sustainable and efficient than the existing ones and that provide solutions to current ‘bottlenecks’. CHEM21 is unique in that it links leading academics in the field of green chemistry, chemical catalysis and synthetic biology with scientists working on small molecule API discovery and manufacture within the pharmaceutical industry to tackle the challenges found in the commercial manufacture of drugs. This topic will provide examples of new, greener methodologies that can be applied to the synthesis of APIs, intermediates and other molecules, with case-studies of CHEM21 originated research as well as literature examples. When applying new methodologies, the fundamental concepts of route selection, also covered in this Topic, should be borne in mind, as these will also have a major impact on the greenness of a process.
Other up-to-date sources of information on ‘greener methodologies’, particularly of relevance to the pharmaceutical industry, include the biannual reviews co-authored by ACS Green Chemistry Institute (GCI) Pharmaceutical Roundtable (ACS GCIPR) members on ‘Green Chemistry Articles of Interest to the Pharmaceutical Industry’. These papers focus on very recent advances in key research areas/transformations relevant to pharmaceutical synthesis, for example solvents, amide formation, oxidations, C-H activation, biocatalysis and process intensification.