NGK Starts World’s First Infrared Ray Organic Compound Crystal Search Service
NGK’s Proprietary Infrared Technologies to Contribute to Pharmaceutical Development

March 25, 2024

NGK INSULATORS, LTD. (hereinafter “NGK”) based in Nagoya, Japan, will start an organic compound crystal search service for pharmaceutical development using NGK’s proprietary infrared technologies. NGK has also developed a proprietary crystal prediction software using artificial intelligence (AI) and aims to contribute to pharmaceutical development through this service. This is the world’s first service to search for crystals using infrared rays.

The organic compound crystal search service irradiates organic compounds with infrared rays of specific lengths to control intermolecular bonds, thereby raising the probability of crystal form precipitation, exploring unknown crystal formations that have been difficult to discover up until now.

With pharmaceuticals, differences in crystal structure have an impact on matters such as absorption rate in the body and shelf life, even if they are from the same organic compound. Consequently, in drug discovery it is crucial to find the optimum crystal form from among numerous crystal forms. NGK has vast knowledge of infrared rays based on its ceramic firing technologies cultivated over many years, and possesses wavelength control technology that allows for irradiation of only selected infrared ray wavelengths. By focusing on the fact that infrared rays have the effect of selectively vibrating specific parts of organic compounds, joint research with a university enabled the development of the new service searching crystal forms using wavelength control technology. Conventionally, evaporation and cooling have been among the methods used to search for crystal forms, but by introducing this new method of using infrared rays, it broadens the possibility of unknown crystal forms that can be precipitated, enabling a more effective contribution to pharmaceutical development. In demonstration testing, it was possible to actually precipitate an unknown crystal form, and confirmation was made that it is possible to selectively separate specific crystal forms.

In addition, NGK has also developed a proprietary prediction software using AI with the objective of efficiently predicting crystal forms by clarifying the crystal precipitation process. NGK plans to implement this from fiscal 2025 to further raise the precipitation possibilities of unknown crystal forms. NGK is aiming for net sales of 3.0 billion yen by fiscal 2030 through the organic compound crystal search service.

Under NGK Group Vision: Road to 2050, a mid - to long-term vision of the future of 2050, the NGK Group stated it will convert the business structure to the carbon neutral and digital society fields and aims to generate at least 100.0 billion yen in net sales in new business by the milestone year of 2030 in its New Value 1000 commitment. NGK will continue in the future to move forward on creating new products and new businesses, leveraging its proprietary ceramic-related technologies.

Organic Compound Crystal Search Service (Japanese)

Crystallizing Equipment
Image of Organic Compound Crystal Search Service

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