CDMO Aesica won the grant as part of a consortium, which also comprises Charnwood Technical Consulting, CatScl and Biocatalysts. The grant aims to help companies to trial new processes and to create demonstration scale prototypes.
“One of the key goals of the project is to improve upon the current manufacturing process of an API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) through process innovation. That is, the goal is to improve efficiency, reduce waste, improve quality and development a more environmentally sustainable process,” Barrie Rhodes, Director of Technology Development at Aesica, told in-Pharmatechnologist.com.
In principle the technology could be licensed by other manufacturers, he added. “A more likely benefit of this work will be the creation of know-how within the consortium that individual consortium members could exploit in other areas outside the scope of this project with Aesica.”
The company declined to provide information about the industrial biotechnology route to be investigated as part of the project, or the API involved. The project, valued at £200,000 ($336,000), is scheduled to finish in 2014.
The grant aims to encourage collaboration between the chemical sector and industrial biotechnology developers, marrying biological and chemical practices.
Biocatalyst will use “Design for Manufacture” principles to discover, develop and manufacture novel enzymes to generate APIs. CatScl will assess the feasibility of a value-adding novel industrial biotechnology route to an API. Charnwood Technical Consulting’s contribution is to assist in the design and scale-up of the process, as well as give expert guidance on quality and regulatory issues.
“A successful project would create a highly efficient, second-generation API process that is less harmful to the environment. Other benefits would be the generation of a process that is more cost-effective and has fewer manufacturing steps,” Rhodes told us.
In a statement, the company said: “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.”