The Enzyme Newsletter for March is out and we profile Proteus, the French enzyme and biocatalysis specialist that is a subsidiary of PCAS. There is a lot of other use full information as well, and subscribing is free (as in no cost whatsoever).

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I never expected an enzyme to do this. When I first learned about the discoveries from Frances Arnold’s lab at Caltech that demonstrated enzymatic cyclopropanation for the first time, I was amazed. I never imagined that an enzyme could catalyze a carbene transfer reaction, in water, with a diazo compound as the carbene source, to produce a chiral cyclopropane product.

Enzyme-catalyzed cyclopropanation was a surprising discovery, a true breakthrough reaction for an enzyme. I also assumed it would probably turn out to be an academic curiosity would be unlikely to find practical use.

But I continued to follow the development of this novel enzymatic cyclopropanation. During the ensuing months the reported turn-over numbers increased. Other carbene and nitrene transfer reactions were demonstrated. As the enzymes were improved through strategic mutations, yields increased dramatically and the production of single stereoisomers was demonstrated with high selectivity. I was impressed.

So impressed, in fact, that I joined the company.

During the last few months our R & D team at Provivi has been focusing on the development of biocatalytic cyclopropanation reactions for practical chemical synthesis. The diversity of the enzyme library and the breadth of scope for stereoselective cyclopropanation reactions have been, and are continually being, being continually expanded.

The potential now exists for this surprising and novel enzymatic reaction to find practical applications, efficiently producing chiral cyclopropane compounds at commercial scale. If you have a chiral cyclopropane target, I think there is reasonable chance that one of these enzymes, perhaps after optimization by directed evolution, can help you produce it more efficiently.

And Provivi wants to make it as easy as possible for customers with cyclopropanation targets to identify an enzyme to produce those compounds.

So, the new Provivi Carbene/Nitrene Transferase enzyme kit is now available.

Screening these breakthrough enzymes is really quite easy … Just add water (and substrates).

These enzymes don’t even need added cofactor.

The reaction is typically fast, yielding product within 1-2 hours, meaning that you can usually have results the same day.

The Provivi Carbene/Nitrene Transferase Kits are now available from Strem Chemicals. (

You can also contact me at Provivi with any questions (, and I promise to respond quickly.

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Novozymes Video on the Microbial World

February 5, 2016

Tweet Every so often Novozymes releases a video that is informative for everyone, non-scientist and scientist alike. The company is promoting their probiotic and beneficial microbes, of course, but it is nicely done and worth your while nonetheless. Here is the link if you would like to view it: Thanks to Debbie Yaver for bringing this to […]

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Who Did What to Whom in Enzymes 2015?

January 6, 2016

Tweet After a year of compiling and organizing news from the enzyme industry I am now releasing the first new product of 2016–plus a special bonus. First the new product, which is based on one of the most popular products from last year, and offers a compilation of the most relevant news from around the enzyme industry […]

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The Art of Route Scouting

June 1, 2015

Tweet In the last webinar we discussed why biocatalysis is a technology that can help you solve your current chemistry challenges.  Useful enzymes are readily available from various sources for screening and process development, which has shortened timelines for implementation. Directed evolution has increased confidence in the practicality of biocatalysts to be optimized as needed […]

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Why Biocatalysis Offers Immediate Benefits for Your Chemistry

May 15, 2015

Tweet In 30 minutes or less I’d like to tell you why biocatalysis is a technology that will help you solve your chemistry challenges and how you can gain its benefits now. This informational presentation is absolutely free to attend, and you can do so from the convenience of your computer, phone, or mobile device. Please […]

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Key Ideas on Innovation in Enzymes and Biocatalysis

April 14, 2015

Tweet This week I have been attending the conference on Development and Application of Enzymes in Biotechnology in Duesseldorf. It has been a great week for learning about the latest developments in enzymes and their applications, and in biocatalysis technology in particular, with a line-up of uniformly great speakers and timely topics. The fun started […]

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Biocatalysis Companies … *

March 20, 2015

Tweet * … but were afraid to ask. The all new Biocatalysis Company Guide is now available. To read all about it please go here: Biocatalysis Company Guide  

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What Was the Most Innovative New Enzyme Launched in 2014?

February 11, 2015

Tweet In this post I respectfully offer my candidate for the best and most innovative new enzyme launched last year. It is called LpHera, an alpha-amylase developed by Novozymes that has a lowered pH range for activity and stability. (note the clever incorporation of “pH’ in the name? I love marketing!) The application is the liquefaction of […]

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The One Enzyme Conference I Am Attending This Year

February 10, 2015

Tweet The 2015 conference on Development and Application of Enzymes in Biotechnology, being held in Dusseldorf, Germany April 13-15, should be a highlight for those in the enzyme industry. In fact it may be the best enzyme conference of the year … and I can get you 20% off (see below). I’ll be there, giving the […]

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