Gnosis Spa announced that it has successfully concluded collaboration in biotechnology research focused on biocatalyst enzymes. Gnosis contributed its core expertise in the production of natural compounds from microorganisms to advance the development of new enzymatic catalysts for industrial production and synthesis of nucleotides and their derivatives to be applied in the development of pharmaceutical antitumor and antiviral compounds as well as food additives.
Gnosis’ contribution to this project once again demonstrates its ability to collaborate and its ongoing commitment toward investing in commercializing innovative sustainable chemistry techniques and green biotechnology methods. The long-term joint research project was sponsored by the region of Lombardy and involved several Italian companies in conjunction with the University of Pavia and the Polytechnic University of Milan.
The challenge of this forefront research was to identify and make available at a pre-industrial level, a selected library of biocatalyst enzymes for the application toward a defined field of substances with high industrial-biological interest. The team of partners and their multidisciplinary approach aimed to achieve two goals; The first one was focused on the production of enzymes for industrial transformation and synthesis of new non-natural amino acids; The second was focused on the production of new enzymatic catalysts and the synthesis of nucleotides and their modified derivatives from natural compounds derived from micro-organisms – this being the area where Gnosis lent its specific expertise.
The project was successful in obtaining a collection of enzymes characterized by different substrate specificities and in particular new nucleoside phosphorylases from several microorganisms. These new enzymes were produced with a high yield and purity and were efficiently immobilized on solid support. Their application is for the optimization of the transglycosylation reactions. Additionally, the collaboration was able to further advance the optimization of the larger scale synthesis of nucleosides.
Great emphasis was placed on this joint research during the “Biotrans 2011” held in Giardini Naxos (Messina, Italy) on October 2-6 2011. Since 1993 the International Conference has taken place every two years in Europe with attendance of 500-600 participants from academia and industry, focusing on applied and fundamental aspects of biocatalysis. Recognized as the most important worldwide event in this field the event gathers together scientists involved in biotransformation within the biosciences, chemistry, engineering, and industrial production to create a stimulating, highly interdisciplinary forum for intense scientific education and exchange.
The use of enzymes in pharmaceutical chemistry is recent and it is being developed according to the interest in sustainable chemistry. The use of enzymes is an efficient way of doing chemistry, using faster processes, with less waste and losses, and lesser use of organic solvents as well. In addition, the selectivity that characterizes these catalysts, as well as their ability to work with environmental conditions, can lead to obtaining purer products and reducing synthetic and purification steps, compared to the classic chemical methods.
The biocatalysis research project carried out by Gnosis responds to the “sustainability policy” that the company committed to several years ago to respond to the emerging world demand of “industrial sustainability”. We understand that we have a global responsibility and we work to integrate “green policies” with industrial development in a global context creating competitive advantages for both environmental benefits and business (economic) competitiveness.