Almac Launches Biocatalyst Kits

April 23, 2009

Almac Sciences has launched a range of biocatalysts in comprehensive, easy-to–use kits for customer evaluation. The kits cover hydrolases, carbonyl reductases, nitrilases and transaminases – with development and manufacturing quantities available on a transparent and straightforward GBP/Kg. basis.

Now established as the versatile “4×4” of the chirals tool box, biocatalysis is also increasingly recognised as offering economic and green solutions to complex pharma chemistry problems.

Almac biocatalysts provide access to a broad range of chiral acids, esters, alcohols and amines – and to libraries of enzymes for customer evaluation. (For detailed kit descriptors, see Notes for Editors)

Screening for customer-requested biotransformations, process optimisation and manufacture of chiral products by biocatalysis is also now available from Almac’s Biocatalysis Development Group. (Email: [email protected])

“Introduction of the new kits aims to deepen customer recognition of biocatalysis benefits”, notes Biocatalysis Team Leader Dr. Tom Moody. “The biocatalyst option is now Almac’s first choice for any scale-up chemistry involving chirality.

“Biocatalysis can provide mild, regio & chemo selective conditions that often cannot be matched by chemical derived routes and it offers economic, robust, scaleable and reliable processes.”

Almac also points to major bonuses from reduced energy costs, lowered impact on the environment and efficient multi-tonne processing in timelines comparable to traditional chemistry.

Biocatalysis has greatly expanded Almac’s technology offering. The Biocatalysis Development Group – including molecular and microbiologists, enzymologists, organic chemists and analysts – is closely linked to Almac’s process chemistry and pilot plant capabilities, with enzyme discovery and development integrated with screening, route definition and subsequent scale up. Rapid implementation of enzymatic steps has significantly improved yield and time-lines in production of complex chiral APIs and intermediates.

The biocatalysis move was previewed at Informex USA, with range introduction at this month’s CPhI Japan exhibition. The latest addition to Almac’s portfolio of connected capabilities, it follows the launch in late 2008 of Solid State Chemistry services.

Almac Science’s main service lines run through contract R&D, custom manufacturing and analytical services. The company has unique offerings in potent & cytotoxic manufacture, peptide and protein synthesis, cGMP and non-GMP radiolabelling (14C), chiral products and technology, solid state chemistry services, micronisation, formulation development and drug product manufacture.

Almac offers integrated services from research through development to delivery of finished pharma products. Services are provided to over 600 global companies – including all the market leaders in the pharma and biotech sectors.


Dr. Rosaleen McGuckin

VP Business Development – Almac Sciences

Tel: +44 (0)28 3839 5830

Mobile: +44 (0) 7803 830775

Fax: +44 (0)28 3833 2299

[email protected]

Roger Johnstone

Deben Editorial Services

Tel: +44 (0)161 614 1450

Mobile: +44 (0)7841 433141

Fax: +44 (0)161 614 1450

[email protected]


Biocatalyst kit availability:

    • Carbonyl Reductase (CRED) biocatalysts

The kit contains 40 diverse CRED biocatalysts (40×50 mg), pre-prepared phosphate buffer (1×200 mL) ready for use, NAD (1×150 mg) and NADP (1×150 mg) cofactors, DMSO (1×5 mL), glucose dehydrogenase (GDH, 1×500 mg) and glucose (1×5 g) for the recycle system.  Detailed user guide included.

    • Hydrolase biocatalysts

Screening kits have been built for ease of use and contains 45 commercially available hydrolases (45×500 mg), pre-prepared phosphate buffer (2×200 mL) for hydrolysis and a selection of acyl donors for selective acylation of alcohols and amines (vinyl acetate (1×5 mL), vinyl butyrate (1×5 mL), succinic anhydride (1×5 g), ethyl acetate (1×5 mL) and ethyl butyrate (1×5 mL)).  Detailed user guide included.

    • Nitrilase and nitrile hydratase (NHase) biocatalysts

Screening kits consist of 9 NHases (9×50 mg) and 5 Nitrilases (5×50 mg), pre-prepared phosphate buffer (1×200 mL) for hydrolysis, DMSO (1×5 mL) and a user guide.  R&D quantities and commercial supply of the biocatalysts are available upon request.

    • Transaminase (TAm) biocatalysts

Almac is currently developing and evaluating a range of TAm enzymes for both in-house screening and for customer screening.  The evaluation consists of R/S selectivity screening, solvent tolerance, reproducibility and methods to ensure high yield where limited by the equilibrium.

About Almac

The Almac Group comprises five closely integrated divisions offering a broad range of services from R&D, translational genomic services, API manufacture, product development, clinical trial supply and technology (IVRS/EDC), to commercial-scale manufacture.

The company has over 2,400 employees and is headquartered in Craigavon, Northern Ireland. US operations are based in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California. Construction of the company’s new $112m North American Headquarters commenced in July 2008 and is expected to be completed in 2010. Almac was awarded the Belfast Telegraph ‘Business of the Year’ award in 2009.

To find out more about Almac visit

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