FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | September 06, 2012

$50,000 R&D Grant Awarded to Advance Green Medicinal Chemistry

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 6, 2012 — The ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable, a partnership between the American Chemical Society’s (ACS’) Green Chemistry Institute and member corporations in the pharmaceutical field, has awarded its first research grant specifically for greener medicinal chemistry. The grant for $50,000 will support research to optimize one of the most widely employed cross-coupling reactions used in creating medicinal compounds so that standard solvents can be replaced with greener solvents, reducing the use and generation of hazardous material. The grant is the 11th grant awarded by the Roundtable since 2007, totaling over $1.2 million dedicated to pharmaceutically relevant green chemistry and engineering research.

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Christiana Briddell

The awardee is Dr. Neil Garg, of the University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) for his proposed research, “Development of Green Nickel-Catalyzed Cross-Coupling Reactions.”

“We are thrilled to have received this award and look forward to working collaboratively with the [ACS] GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable,” said Dr. Garg.

Dr. Garg’s research will focus on using a seldom-employed low-cost reagent within a green solvent to recreate the same sought-after couplings that are currently assembled using more expensive and wasteful compounds and processes. The outcome of this year-long project will be published and made publically available to encourage the pharmaceutical industry and others to adopt the resulting greener alternatives.

"The Pharmaceutical Roundtable is very excited to have Prof. Neil Garg from UCLA as the recipient of this grant to investigate greener methodologies for the execution of transition-metal catalyzed cross-couplings. These reactions represent a significant proportion of those carried out within medicinal chemistry laboratories throughout the pharmaceutical industry, and Prof. Garg has already been recognized for significant contributions in this area,” said Daniel Richter, principal scientist, Pfizer Global Research & Development, and lead of the Roundtable Medicinal Chemistry Team. “We look forward to collaborating with him and putting more focus on green chemistry implementation in a medicinal chemistry setting as a way to expand the reach of green chemistry within industry, as well as academic labs."

The ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable is a partnership between ACS GCI and pharmaceutical-related corporations united by a shared commitment to integrate the principles of green chemistry and engineering into the business of drug discovery and production. Current members include Amgen; AstraZeneca; Boehringer-Ingelheim; Bristol-Myers Squibb; Codexis; Dr. Reddy’s; DSM Pharmaceutical Products; Eli Lilly and Company; GlaxoSmithKline; Johnson & Johnson; Merck & Co., Inc.; Novartis; Pfizer, Inc.; Roche; Sanofi; and ACS GCI.


The ACS Green Chemistry Institute® is an organization focused on catalyzing and enabling the implementation of green chemistry and engineering throughout the global chemical enterprise. ACS GCI operates industrial roundtables; conducts an annual Green Chemistry & Engineering conference, seminars and training; maintains an international network of 26 green chemistry chapters; and with its partner NSF International, led the effort to establish the first consensus standard for greener chemical products and process information in the United States.

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Dr. Neil Garg