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Hazardous chemistry: Azide chemistry

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As a world leader in cGMP azide chemistry with projects of up to 100's MT per year, Novasep can provide a large variety of nitrogen-containing heterocycles such as tetrazoles and triazoles. We also offer alternative routes for the synthesis of primary amines, isocyanates, …
Through the history of our Leverkusen site, located in Germany, we are experienced in azide chemistry.


Sodium azide is a very powerful reagent that gives access to a broad variety of structures avoiding costly and long alternative routes.

Novasep CMO Azide From NaN3


Trimethylsilyl azide can be used as an alternative to sodium azide, especially for reactions that do not tolerate acidic or alkaline conditions or polar solvents. It can also be used for asymmetric ring opening reactions or the synthesis of iminophosphoranes. 

Novasep Azide From TMSA Picture


Alternatively, we also work with other organic azides such as:

  • Alkyl tin azides Bu3-SnN3: very useful for compounds which are sensitive to alkaline conditions.
  • Diphenyl phosphoryl azide (DPPA): formation of isocyanates from carboxylic acids via Curtius Rearrangement. This reagent avoids the heating step in the classical Curtius rearrangement and thus is the best choice for heat sensitive substrates.
  • Sulfonyl azides: like p-toluenesulfonyl azide (TSA) or 4-acetamido benzene sulfonyl azide (ABSA): diazotation reaction.

Novasep CMO Azide Sulfonyl Azide

  • Azido ethyl acetate (AEA): a selective approach to 4-X-indoles.

Novasep CMO Azide Azido Ethyl Acetate


The synthesis of isocyanates via the Curtius Rearrangement is an elegant alternative to phosgenation to afford isocyanates and derived ureas, carbamates and tetrazolinones, especially if the corresponding carboxylic acids are easier to access than the amines.

Novasep hazardous chemistry Curtius Rearrangement

Check out our case study about the development and manufacturing of a Phase III API using azide chemistry to learn more about our expertise:

Novasep Hazardous Chemistry Leaflet

Download our Hazardous Chemistry leaflet to learn more!

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  • A full range of hazardous chemistry services for APIs
    A full range of hazardous chemistry services for APIs
    Learn more about Novasep's 35 years of experience in hazardous chemistry for the manufacture of APIs...

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