Joe Newcombe in PharmaTimes — biohazard

In his regular PharmaTimes feature, sustainability columnist Joe Newcombe looks out to pharma’s cleaner, greener horizon.

Enzymes represent the pinnacle of sustainable synthesis. In nature, these biological catalysts carry out reactions under the mildest of conditions, on highly complex substrates, in the presence of thousands of impurities – all while operating with exquisite selectivity.

These features are down to the complicated protein structure of biocatalysts and, amazingly, all of their properties can be transferred to the lab.

Biocatalysts are made from cheap starting materials and do not suffer price fluctuation like transition metal catalysts. They can also be made reuseable and are biodegradable at the end of their lifetime.

On paper, biocatalysts are a silver bullet in the sustainable chemist’s arsenal. Indeed, biocatalysts have already made a big impact in pharma.


Read the full column in PharmaTimes

See Joe's other PharmaTimes columns.


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