Chemist Jun Kang holds a 3-D model of one of the two reagents he created that is being marketed and distributed by Kerafast.

Sep. 22, 2017


The UNLV Division of Research and Economic Development has partnered with the reagent company Kerafast to market and distribute two novel reagents of UNLV chemist Jun Kang.

The agreement allows Kerafast, a global supplier of biological research tools, to market two reagents that generate phosphorus- and nitrogen-containing compounds without toxic heavy metals. The reagents should make new drug development less costly and more environmentally friendly. These compounds are particularly important in pharmaceuticals.

A reagent is a compound or substance added to a chemical reaction to promote a chemical reaction. Kang’s reagents are called N-Heterocyclic Phosphine-Thiourea (NHP-Thiourea) and N-Heterocyclic Phosphine-Butane (NHP-Butane). These reagents are particularly useful for the synthesis of pharmaceuticals because they provide mild, metal-free reaction conditions. Pharmaceutical companies and medicinal chemists would be interested in these reagents.

The NHP-Thiourea reagent enables the synthesis of pharmaceutically important and biologically active phosphorus-containing compounds without toxic metals. Current methods to generate a phosphorus-carbon (P-C) bond utilize metals that require additional steps for removal of metal impurities in their final products. The NHP-Butane allows metal-free synthesis of carbon-nitrogen (C-N) bond-containing compounds, which are prevalent in many commercial drugs. For example, a C−N bond-containing pharmaceutical, Piribedil (anti-Parkinsonian agent), has been synthesized employing the NHP-Butane. This NHP-Butane resolves a long-standing problem of the synthesis of C-N bond without toxic metals, providing mild reaction conditions.

Kang’s reagents will join Kerafast’s online catalog, which are available for purchase by the global scientific community as “Research Use Only” (RUO) materials.

These reagents are the first products to be commercially available due to support from the 2015 Faculty Opportunity Awards.

The Office of Economic Development has an ongoing partnership with Kerafast to bring reagents created by UNLV researchers to the global scientific community. If you have created a novel cell line, antibody, small molecule, or chemical reagent, please contact Christina Schmitt at christina.schmitt@unlv.edu or 702-895-5200 to discuss how your reagent could be a part of Kerafast’s online catalog.

About Kerafast
Kerafast is a Boston-based reagent company whose primary mission is to make unique laboratory-made research tools easily accessible to the global scientific community. Our portfolio includes cell lines, antibodies, small molecules, dyes and more, many of which are not available elsewhere. Since our founding in 2011, researchers from more than 150 institutions worldwide have made their innovative reagents available through our online platform, where the materials can be quickly accessed without needing to go through the traditional Material Transfer Agreement process.

We handle all selling and shipping logistics for the providing laboratory, as well as return generous royalty payments from every sale. We therefore help providing labs save time and resources, while generating extra funding for further research. Procuring scientists can more easily discover and access unique reagents that are often unavailable elsewhere, while also funding the work of other researchers.

This creates a global community of scientists contributing and accessing Reagents for the Greater Good to accelerate their own research as well as scientific progress overall.