Let me just publicly express my fury with Anaspec. They are a peptide reagent company, and sell a number of products to use in peptide synthesis. I have had MANY problems with them over the years, including a $2500 batch of a biotinylated lysine that was sold to us that wouldn't dissolve in the normal solvents and wouldn't couple onto the resin, wasting us thousands of dollars beyond the purchase price of that reagent because of all the failed syntheses and troubleshooting we had to do. Their response? "Our quality control says it's fine, so you must be doing something wrong." Our response? Buy the product from someone else, it dissolves fine and couples beautifully.
Now, these folks recently sold us a bottle of Fmoc-protected phosphotyrosine. My students, at the time still pretty inexperienced in this stuff, tried using it and it wouldn't couple onto their peptides--they kept getting 100% TMG termination where it was supposed to be. TMG termination is what happens when you have an excess of your coupling reagent (when using the uronium salt reagents) over your amino acid. The students say "Well, it looks funny, like it isn't dissolving." I look at their bottle of reagent: IT IS RESIN. Little polymer beads of RESIN. We check it under a microscope: RESIN. Someone at Anaspec dispensed some unknown resin into the bottle that was supposed to contain Fmoc-phosphotyrosine. We take some pictures, get ready to argue.
My student initiates a complaint. They "look into it." They respond that "Our lot is fine." and DO NOT REPLACE THE PRODUCT.
Meanwhile, I am on maternity leave with lots of other things to worry about. I forget about it until today, I ask my student what ever happened about that. He tells me their response. OH HELL NO! You are not getting away with sending us RESIN in place of a material because someone in your company f'ed it up. Sure, your bulk lot of that stuff probably IS fine, because THAT ISN'T WHAT YOU PUT INTO THE BOTTLE. You put something else into the bottle. And whoever did that must be a total moron, because anyone who understands chemicals (especially peptide chemicals) should be able to recognize IMMEDIATELY that the stuff looks more like a polymer bead resin than a white powder. SERIOUSLY, who do you have working there dispensing this stuff?
I am ready to blow a gasket on these people, and they WILL be replacing this with AT LEAST ONE bottle of the actual material. And they will NOT be getting our business again, so help me gawd.
UPDATE: Ah ha, it turns out their QC manager (who managed our initial complaint) left, and the position was vacant for a while. The new guy says he'll replace the stuff right away and hopefully get us the right material this time! They get some points back for how promptly they have responded to me now.
What Would You Do If You Weren't Afraid
14 hours ago