A Bio-logical Approach to Catalysis in the Pharmaceutical Industry


  • Greg Mann Chemical and Analytical Development, Novartis Pharma AG, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland;, Email: greg.mann@novartis.com
  • Frédéric V. Stanger Chemical and Analytical Development, Novartis Pharma AG, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland




Biocatalysis, Enzymes, Green, Sustainable, Synthesis


Enzymes have the potential to catalyse complex chemical reactions with unprecedented selectivity, under mild conditions in aqueous media. Accordingly, there is serious interest from the pharmaceutical industry to utilize enzymes as biocatalysts to produce medicines in an environmentally sustainable and economic manner. Prominent advances in the field of biotechnology have transformed this potential into a reality. Using modern protein engineering techniques, in a matter of months it is possible to evolve an enzyme, which fits the demands of a chemical process, or even to catalyse entirely novel chemistry. Consequently, biocatalysis is routinely applied throughout the pharmaceutical industry for a variety of applications, ranging from the manufacture of large volumes of high value blockbuster drugs to expanding the chemical space available for drug discovery.




How to Cite

G. Mann, F. V. Stanger, Chimia 2020, 74, 407, DOI: 10.2533/chimia.2020.407.