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KTP adds string to Almac’s biocatalysis bow

By Dan Stanton , 22-Jan-2013

Almac increase biocatalysis services
Almac increase biocatalysis services

Almac says the completion of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) has aided biocatalysis development offering clients an array of streamlined processes.

The partnership with Queen’s University, Belfast was awarded the highest accolade of ‘Outstanding’ by the KTP Grading Panel and the Almac Group is now able to offer its customers a fully integrated biocatalyst service.

“This was a two year process and has resulted in Almac’s ability to perform fermentation optimisation and subsequent scale-up,” said Tom Moody, Almac’s Head of Biocataysis, speaking to Outsourcing-Pharma.com. “It has delivered additional skills in the area of biooxidation scale-up and demonstration of biooxidation in chemical reactors using enzymes”

Moody explained that customers will “benefit from streamlined processes to large scale fermentation and biooxidation processes,” with scalability, lower costs and a lower environmental impact being appealing factors in the new processes. 

Almac’s own biocatalyst technology platform, selectAZyme, is used for the synthesis of advanced chiral intermediates and APIs for its pharmaceutical and biotech customers. The platform can provide a wide range of enzymes for manufacturing applications as well as providing access to oxidative and glycosylated products in the synthesis of metabolites.

In the last year there have been several expansions of biocatalysis facilities and services. The German company Herbrand PharmaChemicals teamed up with Enzymicals in order to scale up its biocatalytic operations in the manufacturing of fine chemicals.

Furthermore October saw plans by another German company, BASF, to add catalyst production to its Indian facility as well as a deal penned between Almac and DSM .

That particular agreement saw Almac focusing on the identifying and production of enzymes employing DSM’s multi-ton manufacturing capabilities in order to offer clients a fully incorporated biocatalysis service. Almac affirmed that the KTP was separate to this collaboration.

Almac and Queen’s continue knowledge share

The Northern Irish University Queen’s has established itself as one of the leaders in KTPs in the UK, and this second KTP with Almac – scheduled to end November 2015 – will continue research in biocatalysis. Moody said:  

“Almac have multiple projects in the area of metagenomics in the identification of novel P450 and transaminase enzymes. A second KTP is underway developing new methodology in protein engineering in accessing novel transaminase enzymes”

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