Almac Sciences and UCD strengthen collaboration with prestigious SFI grant

September 6, 2022

Development of continuous flow enzyme cascade processes

Almac Sciences, a member of the Almac Group, and University College Dublin (UCD), have been awarded a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) ‘Frontiers for the Future’ grant. 

The €420,000 grant will enable the exploitation, for the first-time, of emerging enzymes such as ene-reductase (ERED) and carboxylic acid reductase (CAR) enzymes in continuous flow reactors to develop new routes to chemical products.  Almac Sciences and UCD will work together to establish the use of enzymatic multi-step reactions in continuous flow reactors as readily and widely applicable tools for the sustainable synthesis of fine chemicals.

The project team, co-funded by Almac Sciences, will include one postdoctoral researcher and two PhD studentships over the next 4 years based primarily in UCD. Both PhD students, Ruairi Bannon and Philip Jamieson, have undertaken industry placements within Almac as part of their undergraduate studies. The placement has equipped them with key transferable skills and valuable insights into critical decision-making for flow processes with industrial relevance.

Lead academic at UCD, Dr Marcus Baumann said “This project will further build on our existing collaboration with Almac Sciences, strengthening expertise for continuous flow within Ireland with a focus on enhancing the application of continuous flow within the biocatalysis sphere.”

Almac and UCD have collaborated on various projects over the last few years and have recently been awarded SSPC’s Industry Impact of the Year, recognising their joint development of continuous flow processes using enzymes.

Almac continues to enhance its flow service offering with a completed £500,000 investment to date already in place. This project further establishes Almac Sciences in the field of flow chemistry and builds on novel methodologies applicable for industrial scale transformations.

Dr Megan Smyth, Team Leader Custom and Flow Chemistry, Almac Sciences commented: “Collaborations such as these established with Marcus and UCD are of the utmost importance to us in Almac Sciences. By supporting development of students, we can ensure a pipeline of expertly trained flow chemists in line with our growing capabilities. For Ruairi and Philip, the opportunity to avail of expertise at Almac Sciences and UCD fosters key interdisciplinary skills and research excellence in the area of flow. I am excited to work closely with them both throughout their studies and wish them every success.”


About Almac Group

A unique culture delivering exceptional solutions

The Almac Group is an established contract development and manufacturing organisation providing an extensive range of integrated services across the drug development lifecycle to the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors globally.

Its innovative services range from R&D, biomarker discovery development and commercialisation, API manufacture, analytical services, formulation development, clinical trial supply, IRT (IVRS/IWRS) through to commercial-scale manufacture.

The international company is a privately owned organisation which has grown organically over the past five decades now employing over 6,000 highly skilled personnel across 18 facilities including Europe, the US and Asia.

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