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The application of biocatalysts in the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries continues to grow as it moves from the domain of specialised technology to mainstream methodology – a move that has been facilitated by the increasing commercial “off-the-shelf” availability of biocatalysts at large scale.
Almac has invested extensively into this area due to an increased need for security of supply of biocatalysts for their internal non-GMP and GMP manufacturing projects. Almac is now making their biocatalysts available to their customers through the selectAZymeTM platform of enzyme panels.
These enzyme panels are available for the customer’s own use. Alternatively, Almac’s dedicated biocatalysis team provide an in-house screening service.
A typical selectAZymeTM enzyme screen and subsequent identification of a suitably active and selective enzyme takes 2-3 weeks including analytical method development.
A typical screen is shown below for the stereoselective reduction of the ketone moiety of a beta-keto ester. Both R and S selectivities were achieved with typical ees of greater than 98%.
Upon identification of a suitable enzyme, larger amounts can be supplied for process development, followed by commercial manufacturing quantities using Almac’s large-scale fermentation equipment. Bioprocess optimisation, including recycle of cofactors, is now comparable with chemistry optimisation regarding complexity and timescales.
Almac also carries out wild type microbial screens to identify novel biocatalysts for a given biotransformation and has the expertise to scale these enzymes for customer specific problems using Almac’s fermentation and molecular biology facility.