Charnwood Molecular

We were recently featured in an extensive article in the Loughborough Echo.

The article looked at our early development, through to continued growth and the increasing demand for our services. After another year of significant growth and a number of achievements for the company, the piece outlines our plans going for the future, with key quotes from Professor Steve Allin and Dr Robin Wilkes.

The full article is available to read here:


Charnwood Molecular

In case you missed it, in an interview with The Medicine Maker towards the end of last year, our Head of Medicinal Chemistry, James Hitchin, discussed many of our key considerations and aspirations as a growing CRO collaborating with international clients on Drug Discovery projects:

On the Clear Benefits of Working With Us: we have an ability to “follow up discoveries quickly…allowing greater flexibility and cost savings and focus more on the added value propositions of outsourcing partnerships.”

On the Importance of Staff Development: “supporting the skills required for drug discovery for the next generation of scientists coming through.”

On Compound Selection: “it’s crucial to make good choices at the beginning of the process and pick a candidate that has the potential to go all the way.”

On Compound Optimisation: “you have to really understand your compound and be able to juggle parameters in a way that allows you to produce something that is well tolerated by the body, is rapidly absorbed and goes directly to where you want it to be and then stays there long enough to elicit the desired effect.”

On the Synthetic Challenge: “some of the best compounds can be the most difficult to synthesise…if you spend a bit more time figuring out the challenges in synthesis, you could ultimately end up with something more interesting not only in terms of its medicinal chemistry properties, but also more amenable to process scale chemistry.”

On What Success Looks like: “to eventually deliver compounds that will have the intended effect in a clinical setting (line of sight to the clinic).”

Link to article:
The Medicinal Chemistry Puzzle: Lessons Learned with James Hitchin

Charnwood Molecular

Our Loughborough site, where we run early Development projects, were delighted to take delivery of a new Teledyne Isco CombiFlash Torrent large-scale chromatography system last week. Here is our Senior Research Chemist Jon Boxhall using a 3 Kg silica column today.

Charnwood Molecular was recently featured in an extensive article in the Business Review Section of the Nottingham Post, after another year of significant growth and a number of achievements for the company.

The news article outlines our plans going for the future, with key interviews with Professor Steve Allin, Dr Robin Wilkes and Dr James Hitchin.

The full article can be read here:

Charnwood Molecular – Article in Nottingham Post

SCI logo

Charnwood Molecular is sponsoring next week’s “Young Chemist in Industry 2018”, which has been organised by the SCI and takes place at GlaxoSmithKline, Stevenage on Monday 5 November 2018.

The event has been organised by SCI’s Young Chemists’ Panel and Charnwood Molecular is pleased to be sponsoring an event aimed at allowing younger chemists to showcase their industrial research.

The event also presents a unique opportunity to discover what the young chemists’ contemporaries do in other branches of industry.

The meeting will be of interest to industrial chemists to discover what their contemporaries are working on in other companies and other areas of research, but also for academic chemists who want to find out the different challenges and focus that working in an industrial setting offers.

Prizes will be awarded for the best talk and runners-up. In addition, a lecture from a leading industrial chemist will conclude the proceedings.

We have three of our chemists in attendance who would be happy to meet with you:

• Alexandre Jolibois
• Oliver Leadbeater
• Susan Lepri

Charnwood Molecular co-Founder, Professor Phil Page, is set to retire this month from his academic post at the University of East Anglia, where he is currently Professor of Organic Chemistry.


A Symposium in his honour is being held on the 16th October at UEA to celebrate Phil’s contribution to organic synthesis and catalysis, featuring speakers from the Universities of Cambridge, East Anglia, Loughborough, South Wales, Leeds, Nottingham Trent and Charnwood Molecular.

Phil co-founded Charnwood Molecular with Steven Allin back in 1998, a “spin-out” from Loughborough University, to exploit expertise in asymmetric synthesis and catalysis.

We wish him all the best in his future retirement from his academic role.

Aurelie Chabrun

Aurélie Chabrun is a Senior Research Chemist, based at our BioCity laboratory in Nottingham. We asked Aurélie some questions to give you a flavour of her background, career and work with Charnwood Molecular:

What’s your background?

“I completed my masters at the University of Montpelier in the south of France. After that I worked for a company called Idenix (MSD group), before making the move to Nottingham and starting work for Charnwood Molecular at Bio City.”

What is your role at Charnwood Molecular?

“I am a Senior Research Chemist, currently working on a 12-month FTE project at Bio City.”

What do you consider your career highlights so far?

“I think my highlights so far have been rising to the challenge presented sometimes by my work in medicinal chemistry, finding a way to redesign synthetics or compounds makes my job very interesting.”

What do you do outside of the lab?

“I am a keen dancer and take part in swing dancing locally and in particular ‘Lindy hop’. I also have started indoor climbing and aim to train to the point of trying it outside one day!”

Look out for further “Meet the Chemist” pieces soon!


We’ve now finalised our event schedule for September and October 2018 and we have the following representatives at these upcoming events:

Attending: Dr Robin Wilkes, Dr James Hitchin & Dr Sylvain Blanc
Event: International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Date: 2-6 September 2018

Attending: Phil Thorne
Event: 7th RSC/SCI Symposium on GPCRs in Medicinal Chemistry, Verona, Italy
Date: 10-12 September 2018

Attending: Dr Robin Wilkes & Professor Steven Allin
Event: The Best of Both Worlds: Innovation, Collaboration and Synergy between CROs and Their Client Partners, GSK Stevenage, UK
Date: 26 September 2018

Attending: Dr Robin Wilkes
Event: ELRIG Drug Discovery 2018: Drug Discovery for Small and Large Molecules, London, UK
Date: 9-10 October 2018

Attending: Phil Thorne
Event: Designing Safer Medicines III, London, UK
Date: 15 October 2018

Attending: Phil Thorne
Event: Highlights in Medicinal Chemistry III, London, UK
Date: 16 October 2018

Should you wish to meet us at any of these, please email us at:

Charnwood Molecular - EFMC 2018

We are exhibiting at the forthcoming EFMC International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry.

Charnwood Molecular will be exhibiting in Booth 19 in the main exhibition area.

The event is held from 2nd to 6th September 2018 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

EFMC is organised by the Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector (BMCS) of the Royal Society of Chemistry, on behalf of the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC).

More details on the event can be found here:

EFMC Expo details

If you would like to visit us at the event, please email us at:

Charnwood Molecular - Export Acheivement Awards - Medilink - resized
Charnwood Molecular is celebrating winning the “Export Achievement” Category at the 2018 Medilink East Midlands Business Awards.

The award is very much a reflection of the hard work, talent and commitment of the entire team at Charnwood Molecular.

The company also extends thanks for the ongoing support of its growing client base.

Charnwood Molecular’s exports have grown significantly over recent years, with international clients using Charnwood Molecular’s services towards drug discovery, particularly medicinal chemistry and process research.

Steve Allin, Managing Director of Charnwood Molecular, was delighted with the award: “In the year of our twentieth anniversary as a company, this award is testament to the hard work and commitment of the entire team at Charnwood Molecular. We have seen significant expansion of our global client base in recent years and this recognises our team’s collective efforts in achieving excellence in our services.”

Charnwood Molecular now goes on to the national Medilink awards in the Exports Achievement category.