ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable—Catalyzing green chemistry & engineering in the global pharmaceutical industry.

Greener Peptides

Greener peptide manufacture is a fast-growing area of interest for the pharmaceutical industry and many companies have invested heavily in developing increased capabilities for peptide synthesis in-house and at contract manufacturing organizations. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in therapeutic peptides within the pharmaceutical industry with more than 50 peptide drugs on the market, approximately 170 in clinical trials, and more than 200 in preclinical development. The synthesis of peptides is associated with the use of comparatively high volumes of hazardous solvent and reagents and little focus on green chemistry and engineering.

In 2016, the ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable identified development of greener processes for peptide API as a critical unmet need, and as a result, a new Roundtable team formed to address this important area. In a recent perspective (see below; DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.8b03001), the greener peptide team summarizes the current challenges of peptide synthesis and purification in terms of sustainability; highlights possible solutions; and encourages synergies between academia, the pharmaceutical industry, and contract research organizations and/or contract manufacturing organizations. The team is organizing around benchmarking, best practice sharing, and the identification of new synthetic methodologies in an attempt to reduce the environmental impacts associated with these processes.

greener peptide graphic

Team Leads


Team Members

Amgen, AZ, Asymchem, Bachem, BI, BMS, Enzytag, Genentech, GSK, Gilead, JNJ, Ipsen, Lilly, Pfizer, Roche, Polypeptide, Takeda, WuXi, Novonordisk, Novartis


Greener peptide design and development.

Team Folder

DMS: Peptides


Sustainability Challenges in Peptide Synthesis and Purification: From R&D to Production; Albert Isidro-Llobet, Martin N. Kenworthy, Subha Mukherjee, Michael E. Kopach, Katarzyna Wegner, Fabrice Gallou, Austin G. Smith, Frank Rrochangar. J. Org. Chem. 2019, 84(8), 4615-4628. DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.8b03001

ACS Webinar: Slimming the Waste-line in Large Molecule Syntheses
Presented by Michael Kopach and David Constable

Team Status

Updated: October 2022


  • PMI perspective article – 1 draft ready for company review
  • Submitted 2023 grant proposal


  • Meeting time (west US vs Europe)

Activity Snapshot

  • ACS GCIPR Grant 2021: Prof Gosia Chwatko – Improvement of peptide yield and solvent reuse via membrane enhanced peptide synthesis; Point of Contact: Kasia Wegner (Ipsen)
  • Reviewing publication for AIO-31
  • Prepare the slide deck general presentation, which will be suitable for different company to promote Peptide Team collaboration

Upcoming Projects

  • Compete & Submit PMI publication to JOC
  • Optimization of Articles of Interest Interface