Almac’s biocatalysis business has expanded from its 2009 launch with the sale of six enzyme screening kits, to the current supply of 100s of kgs of chiral intermediates for drug substance manufacture, regular enzyme supply to specialty chemical companies and continued growth of its screening kits offering. Biocatalysis is increasingly recognised as an alternative solution for solving complex chemistry problems due to its rapid implementation, economic benefits and ‘green‘, reputation. Almac’s growth in this area was further enhanced last year through a $4 million R&D investment. The natural next step for the business is the launch of the selectAZymeTM brand to enhance its recognition.
The selectAZymeTM brand conveys Almac’s strong biocatalysis offering. Almac is providing a diverse, A-Z range of enzymes including reductases, transaminases, hydrolases, nitrilases and many others. In collaboration with our customers, Almac selects the optimum enzyme to provide an efficient and cost effective process. Almac enzymes are used in the A-Z of applications from medicinal chemistry to full production and in the manufacture of specialty chemicals. The key strength of enzymes is the high selectivity of the chemical reactions they catalyze”, comments Dr. Tom Moody, Head of Biocatalysis.
The rapid scale-up from biocatalyst screening to production prompted the recent paradigm shift to bioprocessing acceptance for the synthesis of APIs and fine chemicals. Biocatalysis is Almac’s first choice for any scale-up of chiral chemistry due to the cost, efficiency, robustness and ‘green’ benefits that result.
Metabolite synthesis is another tool within selectAZyme’s service offering providing access to both oxidative and glycosylated products. Almac has implemented state-of-the-art biocatalytic technology for rapid metabolite synthesis, isolation and structural identification. Almac has developed recombinant P450 technology for accessing metabolites at mg to 100s grams. These enzymes, which mimic human P450 systems, are a powerful tool for accessing metabolites rapidly. Moody further elaborates, “The marriage of microbial and recombinant enzymes is a real powerhouse in accessing difficult to synthesise metabolites. The scale-up capability allows Almac to rapidly take “hits” from conception to gram delivery as and when the customer requires the products.” In addition, Almac can also supply radiolabelled versions of these metabolites utilizing their in-house Isotope Chemistry group.
Almac also offers technology consultancy, aiding and supporting clients to set-up and run enzyme screening and scale-up in their own labs. Almac does not impose any IP roadblocks to implementing the technology and provides a simple and direct path for customers to access the benefits of biocatalysis. Recently Dr. David Rozzell, a world renowned authority in biocatalysis, has signed-on as Scientific Advisor to help Almac advance the technology.
The selectAZymeTM service complements Almac’s speciality capabilities, including radiolabelling, polymorph and solid form optimisation, and peptide and protein synthesis. These services are all part of Almac’s comprehensive Drug Discovery Services, including API and Drug Product Development and GMP Manufacture.
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About Almac Group
The Almac Group provides a broad range of services from R&D, biomarker discovery and development, API manufacture, formulation development, clinical trial supply and IXRS® technology (IVRS/IWRS), to commercial-scale manufacture. Almac provides services to more than 600 companies, including all the world leaders in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors.
The company employs over 3,000 individuals and is headquartered in Craigavon, Northern Ireland. US operations are based in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California. Almac has now moved into its new North American Headquarters located in Souderton PA.