Almac Forms Academia-Industry Collaboration
News Sep 19, 2014
Almac announces its high level involvement in a synthetic biology project to develop novel routes to chemicals. Other partners in the academic-industry collaboration include Bangor University (Wales) and Hockley International (manufacturer and exporter of environmental health and industrial chemical products).
A grant of £1 million has been awarded to the research team by the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council and Technology Strategy Board. The funding is specifically targeted at bringing a novel chemical produced via an enzymatic route from under-utilised natural oil to the market.
Almac is currently performing the research and development work at its Northern Ireland based laboratories. The company is partnering with scientific experts from both the University’s College of Natural Sciences and Hockley to progress the project over a three year period.
Biocatalysis - fermentation process
Professor Tom Moody, Head of Biocatalysis & Isotope Chemistry at Almac, commented: “Almac has cultivated considerable enzyme technology experience and expertise over the past decade and collaboration in this research is especially important for the development of green processes in this industry. Our expert team of scientists are excited to work on this project as we recognise the opportunity for researchers across industry and academia to work more closely together, sharing skills and knowledge to deliver truly excellent research that can make an impact not just on this project but also the UK. Indeed, we are delighted to be at the forefront of such partnerships.”
“It will form a close collaboration between Almac, Hockley and the University’s School of Biological Sciences, Biocomposites Centre.” explains Dr Viacheslav Tverezovskiy who is leading this research at Bangor University.
Frank Howard, MD and owner of Hockley International adds “We look forward to starting this major three year project in synthetic biology along with Almac and Bangor University which promises to be most exciting and scientifically challenging for us all.”
Researchers have developed an artificial enzymatic pathway for synthesizing isoprenoids, or terpenes, in E. coli. This shorter, more efficient, cost-effective and customizable pathway transforms E. coli into a factory that can produce terpenes for use in everything from cancer drugs to biofuels.READ MORE
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