Charnwood Molecular was recently featured in an extensive article in the Business Review Section of the Nottingham Post, after another year of significant growth and a number of achievements for the company.

The news article outlines our plans going for the future, with key interviews with Professor Steve Allin, Dr Robin Wilkes and Dr James Hitchin.

The full article can be read here:

Charnwood Molecular – Article in Nottingham Post

SCI logo

Charnwood Molecular is sponsoring next week’s “Young Chemist in Industry 2018”, which has been organised by the SCI and takes place at GlaxoSmithKline, Stevenage on Monday 5 November 2018.

The event has been organised by SCI’s Young Chemists’ Panel and Charnwood Molecular is pleased to be sponsoring an event aimed at allowing younger chemists to showcase their industrial research.

The event also presents a unique opportunity to discover what the young chemists’ contemporaries do in other branches of industry.

The meeting will be of interest to industrial chemists to discover what their contemporaries are working on in other companies and other areas of research, but also for academic chemists who want to find out the different challenges and focus that working in an industrial setting offers.

Prizes will be awarded for the best talk and runners-up. In addition, a lecture from a leading industrial chemist will conclude the proceedings.

We have three of our chemists in attendance who would be happy to meet with you:

• Alexandre Jolibois
• Oliver Leadbeater
• Susan Lepri

Charnwood Molecular co-Founder, Professor Phil Page, is set to retire this month from his academic post at the University of East Anglia, where he is currently Professor of Organic Chemistry.


A Symposium in his honour is being held on the 16th October at UEA to celebrate Phil’s contribution to organic synthesis and catalysis, featuring speakers from the Universities of Cambridge, East Anglia, Loughborough, South Wales, Leeds, Nottingham Trent and Charnwood Molecular.

Phil co-founded Charnwood Molecular with Steven Allin back in 1998, a “spin-out” from Loughborough University, to exploit expertise in asymmetric synthesis and catalysis.

We wish him all the best in his future retirement from his academic role.

Aurelie Chabrun

Aurélie Chabrun is a Senior Research Chemist, based at our BioCity laboratory in Nottingham. We asked Aurélie some questions to give you a flavour of her background, career and work with Charnwood Molecular:

What’s your background?

“I completed my masters at the University of Montpelier in the south of France. After that I worked for a company called Idenix (MSD group), before making the move to Nottingham and starting work for Charnwood Molecular at Bio City.”

What is your role at Charnwood Molecular?

“I am a Senior Research Chemist, currently working on a 12-month FTE project at Bio City.”

What do you consider your career highlights so far?

“I think my highlights so far have been rising to the challenge presented sometimes by my work in medicinal chemistry, finding a way to redesign synthetics or compounds makes my job very interesting.”

What do you do outside of the lab?

“I am a keen dancer and take part in swing dancing locally and in particular ‘Lindy hop’. I also have started indoor climbing and aim to train to the point of trying it outside one day!”

Look out for further “Meet the Chemist” pieces soon!


We’ve now finalised our event schedule for September and October 2018 and we have the following representatives at these upcoming events:

Attending: Dr Robin Wilkes, Dr James Hitchin & Dr Sylvain Blanc
Event: International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Date: 2-6 September 2018

Attending: Phil Thorne
Event: 7th RSC/SCI Symposium on GPCRs in Medicinal Chemistry, Verona, Italy
Date: 10-12 September 2018

Attending: Dr Robin Wilkes & Professor Steven Allin
Event: The Best of Both Worlds: Innovation, Collaboration and Synergy between CROs and Their Client Partners, GSK Stevenage, UK
Date: 26 September 2018

Attending: Dr Robin Wilkes
Event: ELRIG Drug Discovery 2018: Drug Discovery for Small and Large Molecules, London, UK
Date: 9-10 October 2018

Attending: Phil Thorne
Event: Designing Safer Medicines III, London, UK
Date: 15 October 2018

Attending: Phil Thorne
Event: Highlights in Medicinal Chemistry III, London, UK
Date: 16 October 2018

Should you wish to meet us at any of these, please email us at:

Charnwood Molecular - EFMC 2018

We are exhibiting at the forthcoming EFMC International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry.

Charnwood Molecular will be exhibiting in Booth 19 in the main exhibition area.

The event is held from 2nd to 6th September 2018 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

EFMC is organised by the Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector (BMCS) of the Royal Society of Chemistry, on behalf of the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC).

More details on the event can be found here:

EFMC Expo details

If you would like to visit us at the event, please email us at:

Charnwood Molecular - Export Acheivement Awards - Medilink - resized
Charnwood Molecular is celebrating winning the “Export Achievement” Category at the 2018 Medilink East Midlands Business Awards.

The award is very much a reflection of the hard work, talent and commitment of the entire team at Charnwood Molecular.

The company also extends thanks for the ongoing support of its growing client base.

Charnwood Molecular’s exports have grown significantly over recent years, with international clients using Charnwood Molecular’s services towards drug discovery, particularly medicinal chemistry and process research.

Steve Allin, Managing Director of Charnwood Molecular, was delighted with the award: “In the year of our twentieth anniversary as a company, this award is testament to the hard work and commitment of the entire team at Charnwood Molecular. We have seen significant expansion of our global client base in recent years and this recognises our team’s collective efforts in achieving excellence in our services.”

Charnwood Molecular now goes on to the national Medilink awards in the Exports Achievement category.

Charnwood Molecular - Medilink Export Achievement Award Nomination

Charnwood Molecular is celebrating another award nomination, having been shortlisted in the “Export Achievement” Category for the 2018 Medilink East Midlands Business Awards.

The company’s exports continue to grow apace, with international clients using Charnwood Molecular’s services in medicinal chemistry, research, development and synthesis.

Professor Steve Allin, Managing Director of Charnwood Molecular, was delighted with news of the award nomination: “In the year of our twentieth anniversary as a company, this nomination is testament to the hard work and commitment of the entire team at Charnwood Molecular. We have seen significant expansion of our global client base in recent years and this nomination recognises our team’s collective efforts in our drive to achieving excellence in our services.”

The aim of the awards is to highlight the best of the best in the Life Sciences sector for the East Midlands.

The Awards will be presented to East Midlands businesses who work in, service or supply to the Life Sciences, Healthcare, Medical Technology, Digital Health, Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology sectors.

The results of the award will be announced on the 13th June, at an all-day Medilink event taking place at the Nottingham Belfry.

Charnwood Molecular and Reach Separations

Over the last five years, Charnwood Molecular and Reach Separations have forged a highly effective working relationship, allowing for the efficient delivery of high purity achiral and chiral compounds to our Discovery clients through a seamless, collaborative working model.

To enable the rapid progress expected of collaborative medicinal chemistry programs, Charnwood Molecular has adopted a continuous improvement approach, resulting in considerable investment in state-of-the-art equipment to streamline our workflows and better facilitate the synthesis, purification and analysis of the compounds that we prepare on behalf of our growing international client base. For purification purposes, the company’s scientists have direct access to a suite of Biotage Isolera systems, as well as a Waters mass-directed preparatory HPLC system. Routine analyses are performed at Charnwood Molecular using a combination of Waters Acquity I-Class UPLC-MS and Agilent 1260 LCMS systems.

For purification and analysis of challenging chiral targets, Charnwood Molecular collaborates with the industry-leading purification experts at Reach Separations, who are co-located in the Stuart Adams building at BioCity, Nottingham, to develop robust methods for the effective separation of chiral compounds. Reach Separations also assist Charnwood Molecular with particularly challenging achiral separations when the need arises.

Dr James Hitchin, Head of Medicinal Chemistry at Charnwood Molecular, commented: ‘Charnwood Molecular is now working in collaboration with a number of strategic partners to expedite the progression of our clients’ pre-clinical drug assets through the discovery phase and into development. We have also made significant investments in our own infrastructure, as well as recruiting new staff at different levels of our organisation, to allow us to perform as efficiently as possible, to the highest possible standards. The combination of the synthetic and medicinal chemistry expertise of our own chemists with the extensive analytical and purification capabilities provided to us by our colleagues at Reach Separations, allows us to rapidly address our clients’ demands for the delivery of high quality products to support their programs’.

Peter Ridgway, Director of Business Development at Reach Separations added: ‘At Reach Separations we like the idea that our clients view us as the virtual laboratory at the end of their corridor where they can send samples to for purification and analysis. In the case of Charnwood Molecular we are actually the lab at the end of the corridor! The two companies have established an excellent working relationship over the last five years. In some small way we have supported Charnwood Molecular in becoming more competitive in the CRO market place with a rapid turnaround of purified material and a strong level of expertise in chromatography’.

About Charnwood Molecular
Charnwood Molecular is a leading CRO providing Drug Discovery and early, pre-clinical Development services. Founded in 1998, we support the Drug Discovery activities of organisations from virtual start-ups to large Pharmaceutical companies. We offer a flexible service from the synthesis of single compounds to the full management of Medicinal Chemistry projects. For further information about Charnwood Molecular please see:

About Reach Separations
Reach Separations is a highly specialised Chromatography Purification service based at BioCity in Nottingham, UK that was founded in 2012. With a vast level of expertise in the fields of chiral, reverse phase and normal phase chromatography, Reach Separations has rapidly established itself as a key provider of Outsource purification to the pharmaceutical, fine chemical, agrochemical and academic sectors across the UK and into Mainland Europe. Please see:

Charnwood Molecular have recently taken delivery of a DrySyn MAXI heating system from Asynt Ltd, to successfully and reproducibly scale up syntheses at the company’s Loughborough research facility.

Chanrwood Molecular - DrySyn MAXI heating system

Dr Michael McKenzie, Head of Operations, said: “Here at Charnwood Molecular our experienced preclinical R&D team routinely investigate the development of small scale medicinal chemistry routes in order to facilitate the timely supply of up to 500g of a final compound to our clients for testing. Delivery of this initial key amount of compound for preclinical studies is accompanied by a new, robust and transferable scale-up route to go beyond that quantity in clinical phases. Investment in DrySyn technology has allowed us to reproducibly scale-up our customers’ synthetic reactions from the milligrams to hundreds of grams scale.”

Used with a conventional laboratory hotplate stirrer, DrySyn MAXI heating blocks provide rapid, safe and controllable heating up to 250ºC, with excellent reaction visibility and powerful stirring. The DrySyn MAXI block accommodates any standard 3000ml round-bottom flask, and using an insert the block is easily adapted for 2000ml flasks. Heat-resistant handles on the heating block make for greater safety and convenience when moving these large flasks around the laboratory. Provision is made for a temperature probe should temperature feedback control or monitoring be required.

Using standard round-bottomed reaction flasks, the DrySyn MAXI heating system provides safe and accurate temperature control for synthesis, distillation and reflux operations when larger volumes (up to 3 litres) are in use. For further scale-up, the DrySyn SuperMAXI heating block is available for both 4000ml and 5000ml sized flasks.