A Powerful Tool in Drug Development and Discovery

Biocatalysis is commonly defined as the use of enzymes to catalyze chemical reactions. The use of biocatalysts in the pharmaceutical industry is rapidly growing thanks to i. their exquisite chemo- regio- and enantioselectivity in chemical transformations. This, alongside other properties such as mild reaction conditions, makes them perfect catalysts for sustainable processes. Reduced side reactions, shorter synthetic routes, and less waste result in safer technology, which is very attractive from an industrial perspective. Furthermore, ii. enzymes are tunable catalysts through molecular engineering. They can be evolved rapidly to become active and selective to non-natural substrates, making biocatalysis a powerful additional tool in organic synthesis. These engineered enzymes can be used in challenging selective unnatural reactions within operationally simple processes which is a very appealing alternative to some conventional chemistry approaches.  Over the last 10 years, iii. the widespread availability of libraries of specific classes of enzymes in easy-to-use isolated forms has enormously stimulated the increased use of biocatalysis in the production of advanced intermediates and APIs. 

At Symeres we combine over 30 years of expertise in complex, chiral chemistry with the specific retrosynthesis thinking of our biocatalysis expert team to apply biocatalysis in our customers’ projects, wherever appropriate (fit for purpose). 

The use of enzymes in drug discovery programs ranges from small scale metabolite synthesis to access to specific new scaffolds and late-stage lead diversifications (e.g. using UPOs – unspecific peroxygenases), all areas we do have experience in at Symeres. 

In early drug development phases, time frames and resources are typically tight, therefore biocatalytic investigations are focused on the use of “off the shelf” enzymes (wild type enzymes and engineered ones which are available in screening plates or even larger scale due to previous use) developing fit for purpose processes. A wide range of classes of enzymes are in the house ready to be tested in your specific target and/or program.  At Symeres we have experience with a broad number of enzymes: Lipases, esterases, proteases, ketoreductases, imine reductases, transaminases, ene-reductases, nitrile hydratases, nitrilases, racemases, peroxidases, Baeyer-Villiger mono-oxygenases, glycosyl hydrolases, glycosyl transferases, cytochrome p450, and carboxylic acid reductase enzymes. We are delighted to expand our expertise through new projects. 

In a rapidly evolving pharmaceutical landscape, choosing biocatalysis is a strategic decision to stay ahead. Contact us today to explore how biocatalysis can revolutionize your pharmaceutical endeavors. Together, let’s shape the future of medicine with green, efficient, and cutting-edge solutions. The era of biocatalysis has arrived – are you ready to lead the way?

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