Under the terms of the partnership, financial details of which are not being released, the firms will co-develop a range of omega transaminases for the improved production of optically pure amine compounds.
Efforts to expedite and improve the purity of industrial scale enzymatic reactions are high on the list of priorities for the drug sector as it seeks to reduce its manufacturing expenditure in the face of increasing costs and competition.
The accord will combine DSM’s expertise in chemical manufacture and proprietary expression platform, PluGbug, with LibraGen’s background in bacterial diversity based industrial process development.
The primary focus will be on the creation of new enzymes that can efficiently convert a wide range of ketones, a commonly used group of chemical substrates in the drug industry, into pure R- and S-amines that have application in the booming active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and fine chemicals sectors.
DSM will produce the enzymes using its large-scale fermentation capabilities, while LibraGen will sell the enzymes in kit form to manufacturers for screening activities and the development of biocatalytic processes.
"This collaboration with LibraGen grows the number of available large-scale biocatalysts and will contribute to increasing competitiveness of the transaminase technology for production of chiral amines," commented Oliver May, DSM Pharmaceutical’s competence manager for biocatalysis
Ronald Gebhard, DSM Pharmaceutical’s R&D director added that "by combining LibraGen's enzyme discovery and DSM's manufacturing capabilities the development timelines from enzyme discovery and screening to final product delivery to our customers will be significantly reduced".
These thoughts were echoed by Renaud Nalin, CEO of LibraGen, who said that the deal "marks another step forward in the development of LibraGen's industrial biocatalysis capabilities.
“Customers of DSM and LibraGen will be able to use these new enzymes on a laboratory or industrial scale to produce intermediates and APIs, thus making our response to market demands even more effective," Nalin added.
LibraGen anticipates that the alliance will provide it with additional access to industrial customers in the fine chemicals, pharmaceutical and cosmetics sectors.