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Chemical and Process Engineering Resources

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Category: Chemistry Basics
Question: How can separation of chiral chemicals impact the chemical and/or pharmaceutical industries?
Keywords: chiral,separation,benefits,drugs,allegra,seldane,hoechst
Answer: This enantiomers (left [S] or right [R] oriented) versions of the same compound can have very different properties, this development has been significant particularily in the pharmaceutical industry. For example, the drug Seldane is a racemic mixture of both S and R versions of the drug's molecules. Through chiral separation technology, Hoechst was able to bring the drug Allegra to market in only 3 years (far less time than is usually necessary). Hoechst was able to bypass toxicity testing because Allegra is a single chiral form of it's molecule. By chiral separation, the most of the side effects of Seldane were avoided in Allegra.