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The Olon Group, an Italian company producing active pharmaceutical ingredients and intermediates, has announced a partnership with the company Biosphere — an Italian SME specialised in fermentation and industrial biotechnology — and the Biocatalysis Group of the Van't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS-Biocat) at the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

The HIMS-Biocat group, headed by Prof. Francesco Mutti, has pioneered ground-breaking research in the area of enzyme engineering and the use of enzymes for performing novel, sustainable and 'green' chemical reactions. The group already cooperates with Olon Group and Biosphere in developing more efficient and sustainable synthesis routes for different types of molecules, among them intermediates for active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Using enzymes as efficient, very selective and environmentally benign catalysts can render production much more sustainable in comparison to traditional chemical synthesis that typically requires many reagents in excess quantities. The partnership between Olon Group, Biosphere, and HIMS-Biocat will help identify the most effective enzyme required for a certain type of reaction before scaling up its production to industrial levels.

The partnership, which has been announced and described in a joint press release, will allow Prof. Francesco Mutti's group to extend its research, employ more post-docs and PhDs, and make a wider impact on society, industry, and the environment.