Apeiron / ἄπειρον – Unlimited, Infinite, Boundless!
Apeiron’s core technology, catalytic olefin metathesis, is revolutionizing the way chemists synthesize organic molecules. From the discovery of metathesis in the industrial laboratories of the 1950s, to the Nobel Prize awarded in 2005, an understanding of its mechanisms and potentials has increased exponentially. The promise and revolution of olefin metathesis is now being fully integrated into real world commercial applications.
Six years ago, a team of top scientists and entrepreneurs came together to found Apeiron Synthesis and bring this promise to global customers in the pharma, agrochemical, flavor & fragrance, petrochemical and polymer sectors.
Building on this mission, Apeiron is now transforming metathesis into a powerful tool for the efficient and clean creation of chemical architectures for commercial applications. Our strategic solutions provide industry with the tools to benefit from the revolution.
Apeiron’s team aspires to work hand-in-hand with customers to help transform their chemistry and bring about a revolution in catalysis and synthesis for R&D pipelines and manufacturing processes. We seek to advance the frontiers of chemical transformation, creating efficient and cost-effective solutions for commercial applications.
Our product is invention and our roots run deep in science and discovery which are at the heart of our mission. Our measure of success is when we help make your manufacturing processes faster, cheaper and greener.
From the high tech labs and old-world charms of Wroclaw, Poland to our North American site at the Cambridge Innovation Center – in the heart of the world’s preeminent life-sciences/pharma cluster of Cambridge, Massachusetts – we are ready to bring the solutions and science of chemical transformation and synthesis to you.
Olefin metathesis is a chemical reaction in which two carbon-carbon double bonds (olefins) join and exchange with one another, forming new olefinic products.
The story of olefin metathesis originates in the industrial laboratories of the mid-1950s when chemists at DuPont, Standard Oil and Phillips Petroleum reported seemingly novel transformations – disproportionation – of olefins. The Calderon group at Goodyear were the first who called this transformation olefin metathesis in 1967. Intriguing results received by these pioneers drew the attention of other researchers to the potential of this new class of reactions.
Importantly, this transformation long remained a laboratory curiosity without significance for advanced organic chemistry until the early 1990s when a burgeoning interest in metathesis began in large part due to the development of well-defined homogeneous catalyst systems in combination with reaction scope studies in academic laboratories.
Today we are witnessing the widespread application of metathesis reactions for synthesis within different sectors and product categories including pharmaceuticals, fragrance chemicals, pheromones, modified rubbers, lubricants, specialty surfactants, polymers and many others. By definition the formation of new (olefinic) products presents unique opportunities. Apeiron’s mission is to seize these opportunities and bring these innovations to you.
Apeiron’s Technology and Our Advantages
Apeiron’s technology which includes various ruthenium based catalysts can satisfy nearly any process utilizing metathesis and is ready to be applied both in R&D and production process.
Specifically, our technology platform is highly modular, allowing us to manufacture various catalysts incorporating tailored structural modifications in the ionic, benzylidene and/or NHC moieties that best fit to structural requirements of metathesis substrate. Above that we specialize in modifications of the NHC moiety that incorporate utility tags into this nonlabile ligand, which afford novel auxiliary traits and provide substantial advantages in practical syntheses. We combine the latest academic advancements with customer-driven product development.
Apeiron takes advantage of both proprietary technology that is the result of an in-house research program and external intellectual property licensed from leading European industrial and academic partners.
2015 Launch of HeatMet, a catalyst requiring temperature activation, especially suitable for ring opening metathesis polymerization.
2014 Development of FixCat, a reusable solid supported catalyst .
2014 Development of GripCat a highly efficient Ru and Pd scavenger for use in polar solvents such as ethyl acetate.
2014 Launch of nitro-Grela, a catalyst with a proven broad application profile, especially for RCM, CM and en-yne metathesis reactions.
2013 Development of SnatchCat a homogeneous Ru and Pd scavenger which simplifies efficient residual metal removal from reaction mixtures.
2013 Development of tube-in-tube flow reactor utilizing semi-permeable materials for the continuous removal of gaseous byproducts in metathesis reactions.
2012 Development of LatMet, a catalyst requiring dual temperature and chemical activation, especially suitable for ring opening metathesis polymerization.
2012 Development of GreenCat, a catalyst suitable for carrying out metathesis reactions in “green” solvents such as ethyl acetate, isopropanol and dimethylcarbonate.
2012 Development of StickyCat, a catalyst which simplifies Ru removal from reaction mixtures.
2012 Development of AquaMet, a water-soluble catalyst suitable for carrying out metathesis reactions in neat water.
Dr. Michał Bieniek – CEO
- Co-Founded Apeiron in 2009
- Responsible for business strategy with a focus on establishing strong relationships with customers, partners and stakeholders
- Worked at top academic and industry research laboratories in France, Poland, Germany and the Netherlands
- Co-author of 20 publications, 2 book chapters and 6 patent and patent applications in the field of novel metathesis catalysts
- Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at Institute of Organic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences under Prof. Karol Grela
- M.S. with Honors at Faculty of Chemistry, Warsaw University of Technology
Krzysztof Skowerski – CTO
- Joined Apeiron in 2009
- Responsible for the management of the portfolio of commercial projects and the ongoing R&D program
- Extensive industry experience in the development of novel ruthenium catalysts and optimization of new processes utilizing metathesis technology
- Co-author of 16 publications, 2 book chapters, 7 patents and 2 patents applications in the area of emerging technologies for chemical processes
- M.S. at Faculty of Chemistry, Nicolaus Copernicus University
Łukasz Gułajski – COO
- Co-Founded Apeiron in 2009
- Responsible for the day-to-day operation of the business and accountable for corporate financial affairs
- Co-author of 15 publications, 6 book chapters and 2 patent applications in the field of metathesis applications
- Postgraduate training in Finance and Management from Warsaw School of Economics
- M.S. at Faculty of Chemistry, Warsaw University of Technology
Dr. Grażyna Szymańska – Global Business Development
- Joined Apeiron in 2013
- Responsible for identifying new commercial opportunities, leading business development, sales and marketing
- Bio-Pharma entrepreneur, angel investor and technical consultant with over 20 years experience in academia and the biotech industry
- Harvard Medical School, Boston College, Creative Biomolecules, Curis, TolerRx, TEI Biosciences, NanoSurfaces, ViThera Pharmaceuticals
- Co-author of 24 publications, 6 patents and patent applications in the field of immunology and pharmaceutical targets
- Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Polish Academy of Sciences
Prof. Karol Grela – Scientific Advisor
- Advisor and collaborator since 2009
- Expert in development of novel Ru metathesis catalysts and their industrial applications
- Published over 120 peer-reviewed scientific papers and several patents
- Professor of Chemistry at Polish Academy of Sciences
Publications and Presentations
- R. Gawin, A. Kozakiewicz, P. A. Guńka, P. Dąbrowski, K. Skowerski „Bis(Cyclic Alkyl Amino Carbene) Ruthenium Complexes: A Versatile, Highly Efficient Tool for Olefin Metathesis” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. , 56, 910, (2017). Beilstein J. Org. Chem., 12, 5-15, (2016)
- K. Skowerski, J. Białecki, S. J. Czarnocki, K. Żukowska, K. Grela "Effective immobilisation of a metathesis catalyst bearing an ammonium-tagged NHC ligand on various solid supports" Beilstein J. Org. Chem., 12, 5-15, (2016) More
- G. Szczepaniak, K. Urbaniak, C. Wierzbicka, K. Kosiński, K. Skowerski, K. Grela "High-Performance Isocyanide Scavengers for Use in Low-Waste Purification of Olefin Metathesis Products" ChemSusChem, 8(24), 4139-4148, (2015) More
- A. Tracz, M. Matczak, K. Urbaniak, K. Skowerski "Nitro-Grela-type complexes containing iodides - robust and selective catalysts for olefin metathesis under challenging conditions" Beilstein J. Org. Chem., 11, 1823-1832, (2015) More
- K. Skowerski, J. Pastva, S. J. Czarnocki, J. Janoscova "Exceptionally Stable and Efficient Solid Supported Hoveyda-Type Catalyst" Org. Process Res. Dev., 19(7), 872-877, (2015) More
- A. Kozłowska, M. Dranka, J. Zachara, E. Pump, C. Slugovc, K. Skowerski, K. Grela "Chelating Ruthenium Phenolate Complexes: Synthesis, General Catalytic Activity, and Applications in Olefin Metathesis Polymerization" Chem. Eur. Journal, 20(43), 14120-14125, (2014) More
- J. Pastva, K. Skowerski, S. J. Czarnocki, N. Žilková, J. Čejka, Z. Bastl, H. Balcar "Ru-Based Complexes with Quaternary Ammonium Tags Immobilized on Mesoporous Silica as Olefin Metathesis Catalysts" ACS Catal., 4(9), 3227–3236, (2014). More
- A. Kozłowska, M. Dranka, M. Zachara, E. Pump, C. Slugovc, K. Skowerski, K. Grela "Chelating Ruthenium Phenolate Complexes-Synthesis, General Catalytic Activity and Applications in Olefin Metathesis Polymerization" Chem. Eur. J., 20(43), 14120 – 14125 (2014). More
- K. Skowerski, J. Białecki, A. Tracz, T. K. Olszewski “In an attempt to provide an environmentally friendly solvent selection guide for olefin metathesis” Green Chem., 16, 1125–1130 (2014). More
- K. Skowerski, Ł. Gułajski "Purification Strategies in Olefin Metathesis": Theory and Practice, Ed.: Grela, K.; John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Chap. 25, pp. 559 – 571 (2014). More
- K. Skowerski, S. J. Czarnocki, P. Knapkiewicz "Tube-In-Tube Reactor as a Useful Tool for Homo- and Heterogeneous Olefin Metathesis under Continuous Flow Mode" ChemSusChem, 7 (2), 536 – 542 (2014). More
- T. K. Olszewski, M. Figlus, M. Bieniek "Olefin metathesis: A versatile synthetic tool for use in preparation of active pharmaceutical ingredients" Chimica Oggi/Chemistry Today, 32(5), 22-29, (2014). More
- K. Skowerski, C. Wierzbicka, K. Grela “"Olefin metathesis under continuous flow mode" Current Organic Chemistry, 17(22), 2740 – 2748, (2013) More
- K. Skowerski, P. Kasprzycki, M. Bieniek, T. K. Olszewski "Efficient, durable and reusable olefin metathesis catalysts with high affinity to silica gel" Tetrahedron 69, 7408 – 7415 (2013). More
- T. K. Olszewski, M. Bieniek, K. Skowerski, K. Grela "New Tool in the Toolbox: Electron Withdrawing Group Activated Ruthenium Catalysts for Olefin Metathesis" Synlett, 24, 903 – 919 (2013). More
- K. Skowerski, Ł. Gułajski, K. Grela "Alkene Metathesis in water" in Metal Catalysis in Water, Ed.: Dixneuf, P. H.; Cadierno, V.; Wiley-VCH, Chap. 8, pp. 291 – 333 (2013). More
- C. Wierzbicka, M. Nyk, K. Skowerski, M. Samoć "Molecules of ruthenium-based olefin metathesis catalysts as two- and three-photon absorbers" Dalton Trans., 41, 13258 – 13260 (2012). More
- K. Skowerski, G. Szczepaniak, C. Wierzbicka, Ł. Gułajski, M. Bieniek, K. Grela "Highly active catalysts for olefin metathesis in water." Catal. Sci. Technol., 2 (12), 2424 – 2427, (2012). More
- K. Skowerski, C. Wierzbicka, G. Szczepaniak, Ł. Gułajaski, M. Bieniek, K. Grela "Easily removable olefin metathesis catalysts" Green Chem., 14 (12), 3264 – 3268, (2012). More
- P. Knapkiewicz, K. Skowerski, D. E. Jaskolska, M. Barbasiewicz, T. K. Olszewski "Nitration Under Continuous Flow Conditions: Convenient Synthesis of 2-Isopropoxy-5-nitrobenzaldehyde, an Important Building Block in the Preparation of Nitro-Substituted Hoveyda-Grubbs Metathesis Catalyst" Organic Process Research & Development, 16(8), 1430 – 1435, (2012). More
- T. K. Olszewski, D.E. Jaskólska "Imidazol(in)ium-2-Carboxylates as Efficient Precursors to N-Heterocyclic Carbene Complexes of Copper and Silver" Heteroatom Chemistry 23(6), 605 – 609, (2012). More
- J. Cabrera, R. Padilla, R. Dehn, S. Deuerlein, Ł. Gułajski, E. Chomiszczak, J. H. Teles, M. Limbach, K. Grela "Olefin Metathesis on a TLC Plate as a Tool for a High-Throughput Screening of Catalyst-Substrate Sets." Adv. Synth. Catal., 354, 1043 – 1051 (2012). More
- New Catalysts for Olefin Metathesis, 2st Annual Catalysis in Chemistry Symposium, April 2017, Marriott Hotel, Cambrigde, MA, USA
- Tailor-made Catalysts for Metathesis Processes Optimization, 34th SCI Process Development Symposium, March 2017, Churchill College, Cambridge, UK
- Bringing Nobel prize-winning technology – Olefin Metathesis – to the chemical industry, 1st European Chemistry Partnering, February 2017, Chamber of Industry and Commerce Frankfurt, Germany
- Tools for olefin metathesis, Organic Chemisty Symposium, May 2016 Polish Academy of Sciences, Warszawa, Poland
- Examining stability and selectivity of new olefin metathesis catalysts, 1st Annual Catalysis in Chemistry Symposium, April 2016, Royal Sonesta Boston, Cambrigde, MA, USA
- Faster, Cheaper, Greener: The Breakthrough of Metathesis of Olefin Metathesis Catalysts in Pharmaceutical Development, Streamlining Process Chemistry - New Synthetic Strategies, October 2014, Cambridge, Innovation Center, Cambridge, MA, USA.
- Faster, Cheaper, Greener: The Breakthrough of Metathesis of Olefin Metathesis Catalysts in Pharmaceutical Development, Modern Synthetic Methods & Chiral, May 2014, Orlando, FL, USA.
- Metathesis with practical elegance and new applications for API synthesis, The Catalysis Development Conference, November 2013, Newmarket, UK.
We are located in Wroclaw Technology Park (WTP) one of the largest and most innovative technology parks in Poland. WTP hosts over 150 companies from different high-technology sectors in a 50,000 square meters.
We are creative in finding new solutions and are open to ideas that are non-obvious. Our state-of-the-art laboratory equipment allows us to work under inert gas atmosphere, with microwaves and ultrasonic systems, parallel synthesis systems, microreators and flow reactors suitable for homogenous and heterogenous catalyst modes providing the potential to go far beyond obvious solutions and offering our customers breakthroughs and tailor-made technologies.
Scale-Up and Production
We specialize in scaling up and producing sophisticated catalysts at commercial volumes. Our production facility is well-equipped with the most sophisticated, high volume reactors (10, 60, 100L), evaporators (20, 50L) and all the supportive equipment required to meet your multi-kg demands.
It takes a high degree of specialization to properly and safely analyze organometallic complexes. Our quality management system is exact, reliable and adheres to the highest degree of safety as it is based on the best analytical equipment and methodologies available. Our on-site analytical equipment consist of HPLC, UPLC-MS, HRMS, GC, GC-MS and we also use off-site methodologies NMR, ICP-MS, combustion analysis (C, H, N, O, S, halogen), infrared spectroscopy, single crystal X-Ray diffraction.