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New organic catalyst should enhance drug research and development
Date:5/11/2011

CORVALLIS, Ore. A new "organocatalyst" developed at Oregon State University is now available for commercial use. Produced by an Albany, Ore., pharmaceutical company, it should make new drug development around the world less costly, more efficient and more environmentally friendly.

This catalyst, named "Hua Cat," is also one of the first products to reach the marketplace as a result of support from the University Venture Development Fund, an initiative finalized in 2007 by the Oregon Legislature to create jobs and aid business by bringing university-based discoveries to commercial use.

The product itself is a new and important part of the field of organocatalysis, which experts believe offers a better and more affordable avenue for research and commercial production of new drugs, while eliminating the need for toxic heavy metals often used in the past.

"Organocatalysis is a very young science, but we believe it's about ready to take off and provide improved methods for drug research and development," said Rich Carter, an OSU professor of chemistry, a national leader in this field and co-inventor of the new catalyst along with Hua Yang, an OSU postdoctoral research associate.

"These types of catalysts can be used in the development of almost any type of drug, whether they are for treating cancer, heart disease, infectious disease or other health problems," Carter said. "At the same time, OSU students are now gaining an edge in the new era of environmentally-friendly medicinal chemistry."

The catalyst was developed in close collaboration and with the support of Synthetech, an Albany, Ore., contract manufacturer of pharmaceutical products, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of W.R. Grace, Inc. OSU patented the technology and is licensing its use to private industry.

"Hua Cat is very user-friendly for drug development simple but effective," said Michael Standen, director of technology for Synthetech. "It's this type
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Contact: Rich Carter
rich.carter@oregonstate.edu
541-737-9486
Oregon State University
Source:Eurekalert

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