New digitised chemistry to revolutionise drug production

Researchers from the University of Glasgow in UK have developed a new method to produce drug molecules, which they say uses downloadable blueprints to easily and reliably synthesise organic chemicals.

Published in the journal, Science, the research shows for the first time how synthesis of important drug molecules can be achieved in an affordable and modular chemical-robot system they call a Chemputer.

The Chemputer is underpinned by a new universal and interoperable standard for writing and sharing chemical recipes. The key was to develop a general abstraction for chemistry that can be made universal, practical, and driven by a computer programme, researchers said.

The chemical recipes run on a computer programme called ‘Chempiler’. It instructs the Chemputer how to produce molecules on-demand, more affordably and safely.

The researchers claim the ability to use a universal code will allow chemists all over the world to convert their recipe into a digital code which can be shared and downloaded. This, in turn, will allow medical professionals in remote parts of the world to create life-saving drugs as and when required.