Dr Jonathan Harburn is a Lecturer in Medicinal Chemistry in the Wolfson Research Institute located in the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health at Durham University. Working together with Drs Stuart Cockerill and Jonathan Sellars, Dr Harburn’s research goals are to create clinical drug candidates for the treatment of viruses, bacteria and cancer.
In their research, recent progress has focussed repurposing novel fluorinated drug fragments on known drug scaffolds to develop hit identification. 19F NMR using Spinsolve is one of the most useful tools in confirming fluorinated fragment incorporation with spectra run in 3 minutes. Also, 1H NMR is routinely carried out for identification before further spectral data is acquired on higher field NMR.
Spinsolve is also heavily used in Level 2 of the MPharm programme. In Level 2, students undertake a project in which they design, synthesise , analyse, microbiologically evaluate and formulate a sulfonamide drug analogue. Before testing the antibacterial susceptibility, students must confirm the purity and success of the microwave assisted synthetic steps through hands-on use of the 1H NMR on the Spinsolve.
Prior to choose to use Magritek’s Spinsolve, the Group has used IR, LC/Mass Spec and high field NMR. They continue to use these techniques when fully characterising a new chemical entity. However, these are now used in conjunction with Spinsolve as this provides quick, inexpensive analysis before submission for more expensive high field NMR.
Dr Harburn said that Spinsolve was chosen for a number of reasons: “It has a small footprint; it is robust (student friendly); and is inexpensive in comparison to purchase and operating costs for a high field NMR. In the near future, we are going to place this in series with our Syrris Africa Microfluidic System for online NMR of new chemical entity library generation under flow conditions. This would be tandem with online LC/MS and would give the opportunity to have very fast synthesis and analysis of hundreds of compounds overnight. Setup of Magritek will be very easy in comparison to a high field, supercooled NMR.”