Codexis, Inc. has announced the signing of an agreement extension with Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, to license and supply a proprietary enzyme used in the manufacturing process for sitagliptin, the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Merck’s JANUVIA® and one of the active ingredients in Merck’s JANUMET®.
“The extension of this contract, coming on the heels of our licensing agreement for the CodeEvolver technology, is yet another vote of confidence in our protein engineering technology,” said Codexis President and CEO John Nicols. “We are proud to continue our long term collaboration with Merck.”
Under a research and development agreement, Codexis and Merck used the CodeEvolver® protein engineering platform technology to develop a customized enzyme to serve as a biocatalyst in the sitagliptin process.
The resulting enzyme streamlined the manufacturing process and increased production yield, while reducing costs and waste. In 2010 Codexis and Merck were jointly presented the annual Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the development of the novel biocatalytic method for the synthesis of sitagliptin. In 2012 Codexis and Merck entered into a supply agreement for the enzyme.