BASF offers more chiral intermediates

By Gregory Roumeliotis

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Amino acid Basf

Chemical company BASF has developed a process for the production of
new chiral intermediates for the pharmaceutical industry on a
commercial scale, further raising the product efficiency of drugs
and reducing undesirable effects.

Based on dehydrogenase biocatalysts, this new method expands the technology platform of the company for producing optically active styrene oxides and aliphatic alcohols.

The firm refuses to release details on the science and cost of the process, but spokesman Klaus-Peter Rieser told​ the method "offers a very broad product portfolio and in a very high optical purity."

"The dehydrogenase enzymes we use originate from a microorganism but then we have to optimize them,"​ he said.

"Without going into details, there are two technologies we use to achieve optimisation, purposeful mutagenesis and random mutagenesis."

BASF​ already uses its ChiPros brand to supply the world's largest range of chiral amines, alcohols and acids.

With this technology, BASF tests more than 50,000 substances daily to find the right enzymes that produce the enantiomers wanted in high yield.

The most promising candidates are mutated and selected until the optimum enzyme has been achieved.

BASF has also announced the expansion of its product portfolio with two new, multi-faceted chiral amines: (R,R)- and (S,S)-Bis(1-phenylethyl)amine.

They can be used for the asymmetric synthesis of non natural amino acids and as starting materials for chiral bases (bases for the asymmetric deprotonation according to Simpkins).

The main applications for amines are agrochemicals, active pharmaceutical ingredients, and process chemicals.

The life science industry, BASF's principal customer, uses these chiral intermediates in complex processes to make new medicines and crop protection agents.

America's FDA and its German counterpart, the Bundesinstitut fuer Arzneimittel and Medizinprodukte, prefer drugs based on structurally pure active ingredients, which tend to have fewer side effects.

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