Analytical Chemistry Consultancy

Drawing on more than 30 years of experience in Pharmaceutical research, we can fully support development of analytical strategy, conduct operational reviews and advise on the application of Analytical Chemistry in support of drug discovery in the following areas:

  • Support for synthetic chemistry
    • Advice on all aspects of LC/MS
    • Purification
    • Chiral separations
  • Compound QC and CofA
  • Physical Chemistry assays
  • in vitro ADMET assays
  • Bioanalysis

Operational Reviews are highly customisable according to specific needs (e.g. med chem support versus natural product discovery) and type of organisation (pharma, biotech, CRO) but here is a blueprint for a typical assignment to assess fitness for purpose, typically looking forward 2-5 years.

Generic Review of Framework and Operating Model of an Analytical Chemistry Function

Phase 1

Analysis of current structure, tasks and responsibilities. Relationships with Medicinal Chemistry, External Chemistry efforts, Compound Management, Biology (Screening), Phys Chem, ADME/DMPK and out-sourcing.

Analysis of current resources including

  • Personnel (number, experience)
  • Laboratory space
  • Instrumentation
  • Infra structure (including data management)

and methodologies in relation to the workload and expected timescales for analysis and purification in order to define current efficiencies and costs. Who and what is supported? How efficiently? What does it cost?

Hence, understand where the Group is now, identify current strengths and deficiencies. Which goals is it meeting and which goals are not being met? Pay significant attention to the importance of staff development.

Phase 2

Looking forward to predict future needs such as:

  • new capabilities
  • increased level of current capabilities
  • decreased or deleted capabilities

And hence recommend on:

  • Ongoing levels of resource
  • Capital Investment
  • Organisational structure
  • Staffing
  • Capabilities

to support an appropriate range of activities with appropriate capacity.

Phase 3

Ongoing consultancy support which can include leading recruitment, on-boarding and the on-going training of personnel.

The Human Factor

One thing that often emerges out of these exercises is that, in addition to a focus on the scientific and technical aspects, it is also important to pay attention to more human factors (communication, organisational relationships etc) as well as on working practices and workflow planning.

Note that reviews can be readily extended to Compound Management operations.


Experimental Workflows

Comprehensive consultancy on strategies, systems and resources for efficient storage, tracking and retrieval of solid and solution compound collections including:

  • Workflow processes from synthesis to assay designed to drive down screening cycle times
  • Advice on appropriate automation strategies and instrumentation

We also work closely with The Edge software consultancy to deliver innovative solutions that focus on research productivity while supporting new business models for networked R&D. The BioRails family of products goes well beyond the capabilities of most data management systems and actively supports the activities of laboratory scientists to help them organise, plan and execute their work. Integrated modules for data management, ELN, sample and assay request management are customised for seamless support of your workflows. The overall result is good for training and compliance with experimental procedures leading to better quality data with less errors and less need for repeats.

The BioRails platform is made up of a set of modules which can be used together or in isolation:

  • BioRails PTO (Project Tracking and Optimization) has been designed to address the strategic need to track and monitor high level project progress with a solution for the tactical demands of delivering results to project teams in the most efficient and resource effective way. Project leaders can monitor progress of their requests and track the overall status of the research cascade. Smooth transition of requests and tasks between different teams and individuals reduces the overall time for decision making increasing productivity and efficiency of the overall process.
  • BioRails DM is a comprehensive laboratory information management system designed to address a range of workflow driven research activities including
    • Screening
    • In vivo Pharmacology
    • Safety toxicology
    • Translational research
    • Bioanalytical testing
  • BioRails ELN supports capture of unstructured information within the same organisational structure as results. It delivers an Electronic Laboratory Notebook enabling biologists to record scientific observations and conclusions alongside structured data and to prepare and publish reports to the wider scientific community.
  • Morphit is a new spreadsheet technology used to handle multi-dimensional data. Morphit is designed specifically to deal with complex high dimensional problems. It works hand-in-hand with BioRails where Morphit provides the flexibility to deal with the changing nature of biological studies and simplifies the process of capturing and analysing study data.


Physico-chemical Assays

We offer the following range of key assays to assess the physical properties of molecules.

  • LogD*
    • Chromatographic method
      • Carefully controlled pH using phosphate buffer
      • Highly reproducible isocratic method
      • High Throughput
      • Range 0-6
  • Solubility
    • Kinetic
    • Thermodynamic
  • Chemical Stability
  • PAMPA*
    • Corning (BD Gentest) System
    • Excellent correlation with human absorption and CACO-2 data

*Validation data available on request

In addition to running these assays in-house, we work closely with Bio-Mimetic Chromatography Ltd (BMC) which is owned and run by Professor Klara Valko to support compound optimisation and promote the use of HPLC for biomimetic property measurements.

Bio-mimetic chromatography involves the use of human proteins and phospholipid to model the in vivo distribution of compounds. In addition to making these measurements, BMCC provides a comprehensive package of predictions including in vivo distribution, drug efficiency and early dose estimation. This information leads to fewer costly animal tests on compounds likely to fail due to poor efficacy or toxicity. More information on drug efficiency can help with early dose estimation.

BMC's services include:

  • Measurement of compound physchem properties, in vivo distribution prediction via measurement of compound affinity for IAM, HSA and AGP; to provide drug efficiency and dose prediction
  • Lead Optimisation support to help you select and improve the best candidates to achieve your aims.
  • Training Courses on HPLC, lipophilicity, bio-mimetic chromatography and other applications of chromatography for successful drug discovery

In combination, DAC and BMC services provide a comprehensive assessment of the physical chemistry status of your drug discovery programmes.

Referrals and Testimonials

Discovery Analytical Consulting - Peter Ridgway - Testimonial.jpg

“I worked with Mark for nearly two years whilst he successfully built the analytical function in my department from scratch. He is dedicated, knowledgeable and able to communicate effectively, both with colleagues and upwards within the organisation, inspiring a vision in senior management.

I heartily recommend Mark to you and your organisation.”

 - Dr Paul Edwards, Director of Chemistry


I worked with Mark for one year with great pleasure. Mark set up the analytic lab at Galapagos and all the ADME bioanalysis.

 - Christel Menet, CSO at Confo Therapeutics, Brussels, Belgium


“Mark is a skilled professional who rapidly responds to the demands of his clients.
His technical skills proved a match for those challenges which came in his direction.

His organizational skills allowed him to achieve high levels of productivity. His interpersonal skills allowed him to work effectively with a cross section of colleagues.

He was considered a genuine asset to the group.”

 - Graeme Dykes, Experienced Medicinal Chemist