Volume 90 Issue 22 | pp. 13-18
Issue Date: May 28, 2012

Cover Stories

Biocatalysis

As pharmaceutical manufacturers increasingly use enzymatic reactions in their processes, a robust business model still eludes biocatalysis companies
Department: Business
News Channels: Biological SCENE
Keywords: enzymes, active pharmaceutical ingredients, fine chemicals, process chemistry

It says a lot about the maturity of biocatalysis as a synthetic tool that four major drugs—Pfizer’s Lipitor and Lyrica, and Merck & Co.’s Singulair and Januvia—are manufactured using enzymatic steps.

“From a technology point of view, it is now fully recognized that biotransformations can be commercialized,” says Junhua (Alex) Tao, a chemist who once headed a Pfizer biotransformations group and now runs two enzyme-related firms in China.

Although many drug and fine . . .

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