A West Lafayette-based startup is looking to help pharmaceutical companies ensure the medications they are producing are safe before they reach the pharmacy. Founded by Dale Purcell, a former forensic scientist with the Oregon State Police, Chemical Microscopy specializes in identifying and remediating contaminants or impurities in medications. Purcell says the process creates multiple benefits for pharmaceutical companies.
“Since we use microscopy and micro-techniques, the amount of material that is required to do the screens is on the micro-gram levels versus milligram or gram level,” said Purcell. “So if (companies) have a starting compound that’s extremely expensive just to make a few grams of, we can help them select an appropriate solid form with just a minute amount of material.”
The company uses microscopy and microspectroscopy, which can characterize and map the ingredients of a medication. Purcell says the chemical analysis can determine any foreign particulate matter in medications.
Purcell created the company after going through the Purdue Foundry system. The university says a pharmaceutical company can take the results of the analysis and use them to ensure its products meet safety and purity standards from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other organizations such as U.S. Pharmacopeia.
“Not only do we identify foreign particulate matter, we also assist with doing solid screens of pharmaceutical drugs candidates in the research and development field.”
Purcell is currently the company’s only employee, however Chemical Microscopy shares laboratory space at the Purdue Research Park with another university-affiliated company, Improved Pharma. He says they, along with a couple of other businesses, collaborate on the process.
Purcell says the company currently has the basic techniques in place, but he has plans to expand its offerings to help growth the business.
Purcell says the process creates a variety of benefits for pharmaceutical companies.