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IIT Guwahati and RIKEN-Japan collaborate to find a new way to separate chiral molecules which may have an impact on pharmaceutical industry

IIT Guwahati and RIKEN-Japan collaborate to find a new way to separate chiral molecules which may have an impact on pharmaceutical industry

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IIT Guwahati and RIKEN-Japan collaborate to find a new way to separate chiral molecules which may have an impact on pharmaceutical industry IIT Guwahati and RIKEN-Japan collaborate to find a new way to separate chiral molecules which may have an impact on pharmaceutical industry

Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati announced its collaboration with RIKEN Wakoshi Campus, Japan on 26th August 2020.

Reportedly, researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati and RIKEN, Wakoshi Campus, Japan, have developed a simple method to separate chiral enantiomers. The group of researchers is led by Prof. A. S. Achalkumar, Department of Chemistry, IIT Guwahati, and Prof. Yasuhiro Ishida from RIKEN, Wakoshi Campus, Japan.

Their path-breaking work has recently been published in the prestigious journal, Nature Communications. The paper has been co-authored by Prof. Achalkumar, Prof. Ishida, Dr. Vakayil Praveen, Senior Scientist, CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology and research scholars Dr. Krishnachary Salikolimi, Ms. Kuniyo Yamada, and Dr. Noriko Horimoto.
Prof. Achalkumar went on to explain the importance of this amazing work by reminding the tragic event that shook the world in the 1960s, when, a large number of babies were born with severe deformities because the mother was prescribed a drug called ‘thalidomide’ for morning-sickness.

The chemical properties of enantiomers are similar, which makes it very difficult to separate them or to synthesize specifically one without being contaminated from the other enantiomer. “Nature is master in the exclusive production of enantiomerically pure amino acids and sugars, but man is still trying to master the art of enantioselective synthesis”, says the lead researcher from IIT Guwahati.

Prof. Ishida adds that although many supramolecular polymers are known, their enantio-separation ability has never been investigated so far. “Development of such process may help in reducing the price of chiral active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and finally that of the medical treatment, itself. In addition, such a process can be extended to other classes of chiral molecules”, she added.

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The Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati has been ranked at 6th position in ‘India Overall Rank’ and 350th position under the ‘World Overall Rank’ categories released by Nature Index for the year 2020. Along with the seven other institutes, IIT Guwahati has been ranked below 500 in the QS World ranking released recently. IIT Guwahati has retained the 7th rank among the best engineering institutions of the country in the ‘India Rankings 2020’ and also achieved the best ever rank of #7 in the ‘Overall’ category this year (2020) declared by National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) of the Union ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) in June 2020.

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