Applied SelectAZymeTM Technology:

Purification at scale can be the bottleneck for any process, particularly when preferred methods such as crystallisation, distillation and precipitation techniques fail to deliver the desired weight/weight purity required for the product.  Almac has used biocatalysts for the purification of products at scale by the selective manipulation of the impurities so that the above techniques can be used successfully, or more importantly, a solvent or aqueous wash can be added to the process to yield the desired purity as demonstrated in the diagram below:




Our biocatalysis group has demonstrated the use of selectAZymeTM hydrolase enzymes as powerful separation tools for the purification of compounds from mg to tonne scale.  The power of a biocatalyst to selectively discriminate between products and impurities through selective hydrolysis or acylation has led to the rapid delivery of pure compound to the customer.

This technique can be applied to mixtures where a handle is available for manipulation by the biocatalyst such as ester, acid, nitrile, amide or hydroxyl moieties.

In the case of a hydroxyl group, hydrolase enzymes can selectively acylate to the corresponding ester.  Using different acyl donors such as vinyl esters, oxime esters and anhydrides, the hydroxyl group can be modified in such away for easy removal as shown in the diagram below:



Depending on the functionality of the groups on the product, different work-up procedures can be carried out to remove the modified impurity such as simple acid-base extraction and solvent partition of immiscible solvents.


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