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Online Laboratory Magazine
10/23/2021

06/17/2019

Develop novel molecular structure analysis technology

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Rigaku and Merck have signed a joint development agreement. To develop lab consumables based on highly innovative crystalline sponge technology, which determines the absolute chemical structure of organic molecules and enables X-ray crystallography without crystallization of the analyte.

"Rigaku has been at the leading edge of technology in the high-end crystallography market for decades. This project will open new doors for scientists at all levels of expertise across a range of disciplines - in medicine, life science and the evolution of advanced materials," said Yoshiaki Watanabe, Senior Executive VP at Rigaku.

"We have licensed a new technology with the potential to help labs determine absolute chemical structure quickly, even for samples on a sub-microgram scale. Our innovation project is working on dedicated consumables that will simplify the technology to enable our customers to apply it," said Isabel De Paoli, Chief Strategy Officer at Merck. "With Rigaku, we have found an extremely competent partner to develop the best devices for the technology, and we are looking forward to working together on this project."

The innovative approach of crystalline sponge technology can be applied to extremely small amounts of a substance, volatiles and other non-crystallizable compounds. The project simplifies the complex technology and makes it available to chemical and life science laboratories working with pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals or natural compounds that need to determine the molecular structure of substances.

The inventor of the technology, Dr. Makoto Fujita, Distinguished Professor of the University of Tokyo and the Institute for Molecular Science, continues to be involved in the project through the University of Tokyo and the Japanese Science and Technology Agency.

The partnership will combine both Rigaku's proven success in the crystalline sponge area as a manufacturer and distributor of X-ray systems with Merck's unique knowledge of innovative life science products and the analytical consumable market. It creates an outstanding strategic opportunity for both companies to establish leading products for chemical laboratories in this market sector.

The project is hosted at the Rigaku's headquarters in Tokyo, where expert scientists and engineers are hard at work designing the next-generation instruments for turn-key solutions and at the Merck Innovation Center, which aims to create new products beyond Merck's current businesses.

Source: Rigaku Corp.