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Syrris sets up U.S. office
April 2005
by Chris Anderson  |  Email the author


ROYSTON, U.K.—In an effort to speed adoption of the company's flagship product, the AFRICA flow microreactor, Syrris Inc. last month opened its first U.S. office in Ridgewood, N.J. smack in the heart of the East Coast pharmaceutical hotbed.
The AFRICA product, which stands for automated flow reaction incubation and control apparatus, is a flow reaction system that allows chemists to change reaction conditions including heat and pressure and can automatically separate output and collect chromatography data for each data point, using HPLC. Ultimately, company officials say, the tool can increase compound yields by accelerating compound synthesis and reaction optimization.
While Syrris feels it has created a revolutionary tool to increase chemists' productivity, it admits roadblocks to adoption exist. "This is a very new way of doing things for chemists, so we need to educate potential users on the benefits of the AFRICA system," says Mark Gilligan, general manager and founder of Syrris. "We were spending a lot of time traveling to the U.S. to do this, so it made sense to set up a permanent office."
Heading up the U.S. office is Richard Gray, Syrris' commercial director.
The new U.S. office comes less than a year after Syrris launched AFRICA and is a departure from how the company has conducted business. Typically, Syrris looks to partners to bring a technology or tool to market, as it did with the LARA automated process reactor developed in partnership with Radleys.
But AFRICA stayed in-house. "With AFRICA, since we need to evangelize the benefits of the system, we felt it would be more effective for us to do that instead of a third party," says Gilligan.
While only half a dozen or so systems have been sold since its launch, the company is nonetheless optimistic about its prospects.
"More and more chemists are looking to flow chemistry to provide faster and more cost-effective method development. Our client-base is spread throughout Europe and the U.S. and includes major pharma companies such as GSK and Pfizer," says Gray. "Having an on-the-ground presence in the US is a big opportunity for us."
Code: E040514



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