Navigation Links
NTU professor discovers method to efficiently produce less toxic drugs using organic molecules

Nanyang Technological University (NTU)'s Associate Professor Zhong Guofu has made a significant contribution to the field of organic chemistry, in particular the study of using small organic molecules as catalysts, in the synthesis process called organocatalysis. Such synthesis process takes place for example, during the production of chiral drugs.

In his study, Professor Zhong, who is from NTU's School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, has successfully created the first example where an organocatalyst is able to be 'recycled' (i.e. multiple reactions achieved with the recycled catalyst) during the synthesis process thus increasing its yield/effectiveness. Previously no one has been able to 'recycle' the organocatalysts directly (i.e. only single reactions performed) leading to the limitation of the use of organocatalysis in the industry.

This ability to 'recycle' and produce multiple reactions thus increases the efficacy of the organocatalysis, making it a more efficient process, something that has not been demonstrated before. It also means that fewer chemicals are used in the synthesis process, making it a far more 'green' and less toxic process.

Professor Zhong has written a paper on his discovery, which has been published in a recent edition of the scientific journal ChemComm.

The study of organocatalysis using organic molecules (which exists in nature, e.g. protein, amino acids) is a relatively new idea that started less than 10 years ago. The present dominant catalysts used in such synthesis process are 'ligand-metal catalysts' (such as ligand-copper, -palladium, -platinum, -ruthenium etc). However when compared to organocatalysts, ligand-metal catalysis is considered less 'green' and thus more 'toxic'.

However, the problem with using organocatalysts is that it is usually not an efficient or cost effective process since relatively a high catalyst loading is needed, compared to ligand-metal catalysis.

Professor Zhong is seeking patent in the United States for his hi process, which will be useful for the synthesis of certain chiral drug molecules which will be less toxic and produced under more efficient processes. The other advantage is that this process is considered 'highly enantioselective' producing asymmetric synthesis that is desirable, for example, in synthesising certain drugs with chiral centers.

Professor Zhong is also filing for another patent related to his findings on domino synthesis, where the production process of one of the leading anti-cholesterol drugs in the world will be able to be shortened from its present 11 production steps to only 2-3 steps in the synthesis of its core intermediate. Pharmaceutical firms have expressed interest in adopting his methodology in their drug discovery and production process.


Contact: Hisham Hambari
Nanyang Technological University

Related biology news :

1. LSU professors work to improve efficiency of ethanol fuel
2. LSU professor looks for life in and under antarctic ice
3. UGA Odum School of Ecology professor receives grant to study West Nile Virus in NYC
4. ETH Zurich professor Ari Helenius awarded Benoist Prize
5. Bad carbs not the enemy, University of Virginia professor finds
6. KGI professor contributes new insights on jumping genes
7. Professor Sir Martin Evans wins Nobel Prize for Medicine
8. Iowa State professors genome research published in the latest issue of Science
9. LSU professor studies army-ant-following birds
10. K-State chemistry professor to receive Masao Horiba award
11. TAU professor finds global warming is melting soft coral
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/19/2015)... , Nov. 19, 2015  Although some 350 ... is dominated by a few companies, according to Kalorama ... own 51% of the market share of the 6.1 ... The World Market for Molecular Diagnostic s . ... "The market is still controlled by one company and ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... 2015  Vigilant Solutions announces today that Mr. ... Directors. --> --> ... the partnership at TPG Capital, one of the largest ... Billion in revenue.  He founded and led TPG,s Operating ... companies, from 1997 to 2013.  In his first role, ...
(Date:11/12/2015)...   Growing need for low-cost, easy to ... paving the way for use of biochemical sensors ... in clinical, agricultural, environmental, food and defense applications. ... medical applications, however, their adoption is increasing in ... emphasis on improving product quality and growing need ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... President and CEO of Neurocrine Biosciences, will be presenting ... New York . ... website approximately 5 minutes prior to the presentation to ... the presentation will be available on the website approximately ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... uBiome, were featured on AngelList early in their initial angel funding process. Now, ... syndicate for individuals looking to make early stage investments in the microbiome space. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics ("iCo" or "the Company") ... for the quarter ended September 30, 2015. Amounts, ... and presented under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"). ... said Andrew Rae , President & CEO ... not only value enriching for this clinical program, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... India , November 24, 2015 ... a new market research report "Oligonucleotide Synthesis Market by ... Application (PCR, Gene Synthesis, Diagnostic, DNA, RNAi), End-User (Research, ... 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to ... Million in 2015, at a CAGR of 10.1% during ...
Breaking Biology Technology: