Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Biomolecular Screening
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Almac Secures New Metagenomics and Enzyme Discovery Programme with UCL

Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Bookmark and Share
The BBRSC Programme combines Chemistry and Biochemical Engineering at UCL with Almac’s Biocatalysis Group.

The Almac biocatalysis group has secured a prestigious BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) programme with UCL focused specifically on metagenomics and novel enzyme discovery. The R&D work concerned is set to be carried out jointly between Almac and the departments of Biochemical Engineering and Chemistry at UCL, with high level input from two world leaders in the field of biocatalyst discovery and application, Professors John Ward and Helen Hailes.

Dr. Tom Moody, Almac’s Head of Biocatalysis & Isotope Chemistry, commented “This clearly adds further depth to our expertise and complements our recent collaboration with DSM in accessing diverse enzyme collections.”

Professor Ward remarked: “We are very excited to continue working with Almac on this prestigious project, building on many years of collaboration and partnership. Indeed, this project will see our internal capabilities further developed with true industrial needs in our vision.”

The application of biocatalysis technology to the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries is continuing to grow year on year and this trend is mirrored in the increasing number of synthetic projects being carried out by the biocatalysis group in Almac.

The only limitation of biocatalysis is in the number of diverse enzymes available in a given enzyme class, which dictates both the substrate range and the stereoselectivity observed for a desired chemical transformation. The majority of enzymes used in biocatalysis are derived from microbial sources. However, it is known that only a tiny percentage (as low as 0.1% from soil samples) of bacteria present in an environmental sample can be cultured and isolated.

Metagenomics, a culture-independent technique used to extract the total DNA from an environment, can circumvent this problem and allow access up to 99% of enzyme genes present in environmental samples. Work previously carried out at UCL has allowed a series of metagenomes to be obtained from various unusual sources. The use of bioinformatic tools developed by John Ward with Prof Christine Orengo of the Structural and Molecular Biology department at UCL will allow the metagenomes concerned to be mined for enzymes usable in both synthetic chemistry and synthetic biology projects.

Moody further commented “The need for more diverse enzymes has never been greater and this research programme further emphasises Almac’s commitment to UK research and to biocatalysis development.”

He continued; “The project will mainly focus on transaminase and cytochrome P450s enzymes. We will   identify, clone and express these enzymes before carrying out extensive screening against panels of ‘typical’ pharmaceutical and fine chemical substrates. This should enable us   to identify novel and commercially useful enzyme biocatalysts. As the follow-on step, directed evolution at Almac will enable further development of the lead enzymes concerned.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,200+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,600+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Almac Announces Launch of CLIA Validated Next Generation Sequencing Assay
P53 considered important biomarker for cancer drug discovery.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Scientific News
Platelets are the Pathfinders for Leukocyte Extravasation During Inflammation
Findings from the study could help in the prevention and treatment of inflammatory pathologies.
Benchtop Automation Trends
Gain a better understanding of current interest in and future deployment of benchtop automated systems.
Molecular Map Provides Clues To Zinc-Related Diseases
Mapping the molecular structure where medicine goes to work is a crucial step toward drug discovery against deadly diseases.
Genetic Research Can Significantly Improve Drug Development
With drug development costs topping $1.2bn (£850 million) to get a single treatment to the point it can be sold and used in the clinic, could genetic analysis save hundreds of millions of dollars?
New Method Opens Door to Development of Many New Medicines
Findings from TSRI reveal human proteins are better drug targets than previously thought.
Diagnosing Systemic Infections Quickly, Reliably
Team develop rapid and specific diagnostic assay that could help physicians decide within an hour whether a patient has a systemic infection and should be hospitalized for aggressive intervention therapy.
What Makes a Good Scientist?
It’s the journey, not just the destination that counts as a scientist when conducting research.
Blood Test That Detects Early Alzheimer’s Disease
A research team, led by Dr. Robert Nagele from Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine and Durin Technologies, Inc., has announced the development of a blood test that leverages the body’s immune response system to detect an early stage of Alzheimer’s disease – referred to as the mild cognitive impairment (MCI) stage – with unparalleled accuracy.
A New Approach to Chemical Synthesis
Communesins, originally found in fungus, could hold potential as cancer drugs.
Angina Drug Could Inform A New Strategy To Fight Cryptococcosis
A drug, more commonly used in the treatment of angina, could be the focus of a new strategy in fighting the fatal fungal infection cryptococcosis.
SELECTBIO

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,200+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,600+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!