Rigaku and Merck have announced plans to form a partnership to develop novel molecular structure analysis technology.

The two companies are collaborating to develop commercially available lab solutions employing highly innovative crystalline sponge technology, under a new joint agreement.

The technology will determine the absolute chemical structure of organic molecules and enables X-ray crystallography without crystallisation of the analyte.

Merck have “licensed a new technology with the potential to help labs determine absolute chemical structure quickly, even for samples on a sub-microgram scale. Our innovation project is working on dedicated consumables that will simplify the technology to enable our customers to apply it,” said Isabel De Paoli, chief strategy officer at Merck.

“With Rigaku, we have found an extremely competent partner to develop the best devices for the technology, and we are looking forward to working together on this project.”

The companies say that the innovative approach of crystalline sponge technology can be applied to extremely small amounts of a substance, volatiles and other non-crystallisable compounds.

The project simplifies the complex technology and makes it available to chemical and life science laboratories working with pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals or natural compounds that need to determine the molecular structure of substances.

In a release, Rigaku said that the partnership will combine both the company’s proven success in the crystalline sponge area as a manufacturer and distributor of X-ray systems with Merck’s unique knowledge of innovative life science products and the analytical consumable market, and will be hosted at the Rigaku’s headquarters in Tokyo.