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Chemistry students visit Napp Pharmaceuticals

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A2 Chemistry students got a taste of what it is like to work in a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant this week when they visited Napp Pharmaceuticals, based at the Cambridge Science Park. Chemistry teacher Zoe Thorn explains:

“We have strong links with Napp – they often come and give talks to students about pain management and clinical trials, and always attend our annual careers event. In addition, one of our ex-students, Will Young, was chosen from over 100 applicants for a placement there in 2013 – 2104 as the third year of his Masters Degree Chemistry course at Reading University.

“Our students were given a presentation about Napp’s work, then visited the analytical laboratories where the company tests the purity of the drugs they manufacture. Some of the techniques Napp use are familiar to students from the A2 chemistry course, in which they have recently synthesised and analysed their own aspirin.

“The highlight of the trip was undoubtedly the tour of the manufacturing plant, as students had to wear full protective suits and, in some cases, beard snoods for anyone with more than one day’s growth of facial hair! The way the vast quantities of morphine and other controlled drugs are mixed and rolled into tablets, then sorted into the packaging, was impressive to see.

“We would like to thank Jo Montgomery at Napp Pharmaceuticals for organising our visit, and we look forward to further contacts with the company.”