Green & Sustainable Science

Green & Sustainable Science

Developing innovative, cost-efficient manufacturing processes with low environmental impact aligns with our company’s mission.

We aim to develop the most efficient and sustainable processes at product launch, with the goal of minimizing material use and waste from our commercial manufacturing. We utilize an innovative “green-by-design” development strategy to progress from an initial early clinical supply route to a fully optimized and sustainable commercial manufacturing process. In 2017, we set a new target to ensure that by 2020 at least 90 percent of our human health active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) processes will meet internal sustainability targets at the time of product launch.

Our integrated strategy involves several stages, and aims to provide innovative solutions rather than incremental improvements to historical practices. We see science and innovation as enablers critical to developing sustainable, low-cost manufacturing processes that provide both environmental and economic benefits over the life cycles of our products.

As part of our Green & Sustainable Science program, we calculate the Process Mass Intensity (PMI) of our human health products. PMI represents the number of kilograms of raw materials (including water) used to produce one kilogram of an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) or biologic. PMI indicates how efficiently we convert raw materials into final products. We use this metric internally to compare different manufacturing methods, identify process improvement opportunities and track our progress. We are also developing life-cycle assessment (LCA) tools to further evaluate the environmental impacts of our processes.

In 2017, our company was again honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as one of five winners of the Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. Our scientists successfully applied green chemistry design principles to the commercial synthesis of Prevymis®, an antiviral drug recently approved in all major markets. Since the establishment of the annual Green Chemistry Challenge Awards by the U.S. EPA in 1996, we have been the only pharmaceutical company to be recognized with four Green Chemistry Awards for innovative process improvements.

We are a founding member of the American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute® (ACS GCI) Pharmaceutical Roundtable, a partnership between the ACS GCI and member pharmaceutical companies. The Roundtable assists with the development of tools such as solvent selection and reagent guides and the process mass intensity calculator, which drive the integration of sustainability into process design. Roundtable members also work together to support and advance academic research and education on new ways to apply green and sustainable science to pharmaceutical discovery and manufacture, which have resulted in several industry publications on more sustainable processes and technologies. More recently, the ACS GCI member companies have developed tools and guidelines for sustainable production practices relevant to bioprocessing.

By using more efficient and innovative processing methods and technologies, we are reducing the amount of energy, water and raw materials we use to make our products, thereby minimizing the amount of waste we generate and lowering our production costs.

Green & Sustainable Science

GOAL: By 2020, at least 90% of our new human health active pharmaceutical ingredient processes will meet internal sustainability targets at launch.

2017 PROGRESS: On track