Biocatalysts are used across a vast range of synthesis processes to form complex chemical structures in the pharmaceutical industry.
Compared to traditional catalysis, they can be more selective, less energy intensive and reduce the need for organic solvents.
According to both companies, the partnership combines Johnson Matthey’s catalysis expertise with Basecamp’s AI-enabled biodiversity genetic mapping to meet growing demand in the space.
Dr Elizabeth Rowsell, chief technology officer of Johnson Matthey, said: “Over the last decade, Johnson Matthey has grown its biocatalysis capabilities to offer enzyme development, application, process intensification, scale-up and bioprocessing.
“By partnering with Basecamp Research, we will be able to provide novel enzyme solutions that will benefit our customers in pharmaceutical drug developments and fine chemical synthesis.”
One of the main hurdles to the widespread usage of biocatalysts in organic synthesis is the search for suitable enzymes that deliver the desired catalytic performance, which typically involves multiple rounds of protein engineering and analysis.
The new collaboration aims to improve the quality and scope of biocatalysts available to the market.
It will cover chemical transformations such as asymmetric reductions of ketones and chiral reductive amination, which are used to produce the building blocks in organic synthesis.
Johnson Matthey’s biodiversity mapping tool, powered by AI-driven capabilities, is ‘critical’ to the expansion of its biocatalysis portfolio, the company said.
JM has already licensed a broad substrate-scope active enzyme which was sampled from a natural source and selected by Basecamp Research.
Dr Oliver Vince, co-founder of Basecamp Research, added: “Johnson Matthey is a pioneer in sustainable technologies with a strong expertise in catalysis and process chemistry.
“Their focus on biocatalysis speaks volumes to their forward-looking, sustainable innovation mindset. Combining Basecamp Research's unique biodiscovery and bio-design AI platform with JM’s biocatalysis expertise, will help industry take novel products to market more efficiently and sustainably.”