Aesica, the global pharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO), has led a consortium, also comprising Charnwood Technical Consulting, CatScI and Biocatalysts, which has successfully won a Technology Strategy Board  grant directed at funding sustainable, high value chemical manufacturing achieved through industrial biotechnology. The winning project is focused on establishing an industrial biotechnology process aimed at improving the sustainability of the manufacture of an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API).

Aesica portraits - 30th June 2011 - Photography by Picture Farm

The grant is designed to both assist commercial entities in trialling new processes and to create demonstration scale prototypes. The overall project, valued at £200,000, is scheduled for completion in 2014.

The funding for the project meets the Technology Strategy Board’s objective of fostering collaboration between the chemicals sector and industrial biotechnology developers, combining biological and chemical practices. Biocatalysts will use “Design for Manufacture” principles to discover, develop and manufacture novel enzymes for the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients. CatScI will perform the proof of concept studies to assess the feasibility of a value-adding novel industrial biotechnology route to an active pharmaceutical ingredient.  Charnwood Technical Consulting will provide expertise to help design and scale-up the process, as well as guidance on quality and regulatory issues. Aesica will manage the overall project and carry out scale-up studies to determine the feasibility of the technology at larger scale.

Utilising biocatalytic processes in the production of high value chemicals is environmentally friendly and forms part of an initiative to assist the chemicals industry in the shift away from dependency on fossil fuels towards a bio-economy based on renewable and biological compounds.

Dr Barrie Rhodes, Director of Technology Development at Aesica commented; “We are delighted that our project successfully secured such Technology Strategy Board funding and are naturally very pleased to be leading a consortium consisting of such highly experienced companies. At Aesica, we are committed to innovation and fostering effective partnerships to further good science. Indeed, bringing together such strong technical expertise and know-how to combine high value chemical manufacturing with industrial biotechnology is a prime example of what we are about.”

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