As part of its Sustainable Bio-production programme, Germany\'s Federal Ministry of Education & Research has awarded a consortium a grant to study the feasibility of oxynitrilase technologies as a more efficient method to manufacture chiral building block chemicals currently required by the world\'s pharmaceutical industry.
As part of its Sustainable Bio-production programme, Germany's Federal Ministry of Education & Research has awarded a consortium a grant to study the feasibility of oxynitrilase technologies as a more efficient method to manufacture chiral building block chemicals currently required by the world's pharmaceutical industry.
The Euro 2m project specifically allows Clariant and Juelich Fine Chemicals (JFC) to consider oxynitrilases as bio-catalysts that open a broader set of optically highly pure chiral building blocks to more economic manufacturing. The major objective of the research is to leverage the success of oxynitrilase technologies as a method for the manufacture of chiral building block chemicals into other chiral product classes.
According to Dr Manfred Koch, head of r&d, Clariant Pharmaceutical Fine Chemicals, oxynitrilases are currently utilised in a series of different processes for ton-scale production of chiral building blocks. 'Reactions catalysed by oxynitrilases offer economical access to enantiomerically pure cyanohydrins, alpha-hydroxy acids, aminoalcohols and other downstream products,' he said. 'Given this fact, the company is confident that it will be able to extend the range of products made with oxynitrilase technologies into amines, alcohols, acids, esters and oxiranes.'
Thomas DauÃƒÅ¸mann, general manager, JFC, added: 'We are confident that the research programme, in co-operation with Clariant, will result in an increased application and broadening of our oxynitrilase technologies. A series of products recently created with oxynitrilase technologies has already been manufactured on a commercial scale, further adding to the confidence of the research team that the technologies can be leveraged to a range of chiral chemistry.'
As partners in the project, Clariant and JFC have elected to combine their efforts in broadening the commercial production and application of oxynitrilase technologies as they apply to stereoselective addition of hydrocyanic acid to carbonyl compounds.
Included in the research team are professionals from several disciplines: Professor Kragl of the University of Rostock will support specific areas of biochemical engineering and help to identify bottlenecks; Dr Pohl of HeinrichHeineUniversity (Duesseldorf) will consider evolutionary methods to develop special enzymatic catalysts; and Professor Wajant (University of Wuerzburg) will look at targeted mutagenesis as another method for developing innovative solutions. All of the research team members have significant expertise in bioscience, process engineering, chemistry, analysis and technical marketing to contribute to the project.