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Biocatalysis in drug discovery and design

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Biocatalysis is the use of natural substances, such as enzymes from whole cells or other biological sources to accelerate chemical reactions. Biocatalysis has emerged as a powerful technology that has revolutionized the large-scale production of pharmaceuticals. Given their exquisite selectivity, specificity and speed, enzymes are increasingly being used as catalysts for the chemical synthesis of drugs, and offer the advantages of milder process conditions and limited waste generation. The application of genomic technologies and bioinformatics to enzyme engineering has enabled the design of fine-tuned enzymes—enhanced specificity and stability—and opened up the possibility of de novo enzyme design, which in turn has enabled the discovery of new drugs. Biocatalysis has accelerated the drug discovery process by generating compounds that have new activities and profiles. Biocatalytic technologies also represent an attractive approach to the design of complex therapeutic modalities, such as antibody-drug conjugates, synthetically modified monoclonal antibodies and biomacromolecules, and provides an environmentally-friendly, cost-efficient and commercially viable synthetic route to these complex drug substances.

This Collection welcomes submissions that describe novel and existing biocatalysts as well as their applications in drug discovery and design.

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Molecular model of a ubiquitin-activating enzyme, also known as E1 enzymes

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Biocatalysis is the use of natural substances, such as enzymes from whole cells or other biological sources to accelerate chemical reactions. Biocatalysis has emerged as a powerful technology that has revolutionized the large-scale production of pharmaceuticals. Given their exquisite selectivity, specificity and speed, enzymes are increasingly being used as catalysts for the chemical synthesis of drugs, and offer the advantages of milder process conditions and limited waste generation. The application of genomic technologies and bioinformatics to enzyme engineering has enabled the design of fine-tuned enzymes—enhanced specificity and stability—and opened up the possibility of de novo enzyme design, which in turn has enabled the discovery of new drugs. Biocatalysis has accelerated the drug discovery process by generating compounds that have new activities and profiles. Biocatalytic technologies also represent an attractive approach to the design of complex therapeutic modalities, such as antibody-drug conjugates, synthetically modified monoclonal antibodies and biomacromolecules, and provides an environmentally-friendly, cost-efficient and commercially viable synthetic route to these complex drug substances.

This Collection welcomes submissions that describe novel and existing biocatalysts as well as their applications in drug discovery and design.

 

Find out how to submit here