24 June 1996 00:00 [Source: ICB]
The award of a second US National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to Altus Biologics will enable the company to fund the second phase of development of a prototype Clec catalyst containing the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH).
The new $750 000 two-year grant will be used to move production from research to pilot-scale at the company's existing facilities at Cambridge, Massachusetts.
ADH is potentially useful in many industrial processes involving stereoselective organic synthesis, but until now its use has been precluded by poor stability in solution, and the need for expensive cofactors.
Altus has developed a prototype ADH Clec catalyst containing ADH and cofactor molecules locked into a crystal lattice. The prototype, developed with the support of a previous NIH grant for $75 000 awarded in December 1994, exhibited high catalytic activity and was durable under a range of reaction conditions.
The market for the synthesis of optically pure single isomer drugs is expected to reach $40bn by the year 2000.
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