Key Ideas on Innovation in Enzymes and Biocatalysis

by David

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 before the full conference opened with a workshop I was asked to organize. We focused on the topic “Taking an Enzyme from Concept to Commercialization.” This was an opportunity to discuss the experiences across a range of industries, from companies large and small, in the commercialization process

Below I will highlight Seven Key Take-Aways from the Enzyme Workshop, one from each speaker.

  1. There is now a larger role for bioinformatics in new enzyme discovery. (Dr. Stefan Mix, Almac Sciences(
  2. It is possible to create a new enzyme activity starting with no activity with the aid of computational design. (Alexandre Zanghellini, Arzeda Corporation)
  3. Application testing of enzymes should be done early, and the earlier the better. (Joe McAuliffe, DuPont)
  4. There is a massive resistance to change of enzymes for in vitro diagnostics. The same enzymes have been used on some cases for 35-40 years. This creates a huge barrier to introduction of new enzymes in diagnostics. (Nick Major, Sekisui Diagnostics)
  5. Biocatalysis is moving to Pre-validated and Ready-to-Use or Plug and Play enzymes to shorten time-lines and reduce risk in scale-up and implementation. (Andreas Vogel, c-LEcta GmbH)
  6. Time-lines from concept to product have been consistently shrinking over the past 15 years. (Andy Ellis, Biocatalysts Ltd)
  7. Directed evolution will be mandatory for future innovation. (David Rozzell, Sustainable Chemistry Solutions, Inc.)

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