SYNMR Chemicals a Bangalore based company forayed into the NMR solvents industry about ten years back.SYNMR has now emerged as a leading player in the market today.
The company is now engaged in research and process development of a specialized area of chemistry known as ‘stable isotope labelling’ that finds application in cancer research, medical diagnostics and environmental pollution.
SYNMR has now indigenized the labelled chemical synthesis as part of the Make in India.
Hydrogen is the simplest element with unit mass. Its heavy isotope with mass 2 is called Deuterium and symbolised with ‘D’ for Deuterium. NMR is an important analytical instrument which uses solvents like chloroform-D, diethyl sulfoxide-D6, methanol-D4 etc. No of D represents how many hydrogens in these solvents are replaced with Deuterium. SYNMR targeted to synthesize such NMR solvents within India.
The current demand for NMR solvents is met today by imports from Europe and USA and the market size is about US$ 50 million. This is mainly due to non-availability of indigenous supply of heavy water which is the key raw material and was out of bounds for Indian manufacturers. Current collaboration with Heavy Water Board (HWB) help SYNMR to tap this huge labelled compound market, stated Dr. Sankar Iyer, managing director, SYNMR Chemicals.
Now the company has inked a 10-year pact with Heavy Water Board, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Government of India.
All chemical elements exist in nature as natural and heavy isotope. While natural isotope is abundant, heavy isotopes exist as minute fractions. Isotopes have same chemical property but differ in their mass.
The company has invested in laboratory, equipment and collaboration for developing processes for the manufacture and supply of deuterated solvents for NMR spectroscopy and intermediates for D labelled drugs. Currently 3 scientists, 1 marketing expert and 10 technicians are working out of their startup lab at Yeshwanthpur with cumulative investment of Rs.25 lakh and already achieved sales worth Rs.50 lakh.
It has supplied products to the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and IITs besides companies like Syngene, Lupin etc. It exports to South East Asia, China and South Africa.
The company has already established long pipe line of deuterated products. These labelled compounds will now be easily available to Indian researchers and industries quickly at relatively lower cost. This make In India initiative relieve researchers from import delays and dependence on overseas manufacturers. Needless to say, valuable foreign exchange to the tune of USD 50 million will be saved in days to come. There is a huge export market potential for all the deuterated compounds. SYNMR estimates a YoY growth demand of 8% with attractive revenue growth.
Currently SYNMR is the only supplier from India for the ‘D’ labelled intermediate used in manufacture of D labelled drug called deutetrabenazine. This drug is used in formulating a US FDA approved medicine called Austedo, manufactured by Teva, USA. Many Indian pharmaceutical companies have taken advantage of the low cost and easy availability of this deuterated intermediate for their developmental work, stated Dr. Iyer.