Biocatalysis for Drug Discovery and Development

Youyun Liang, Mingzi M. Zhang, Ee Lui Ang, Huimin Zhao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Biocatalysis has been established as an environment-friendly and sustainable alternative to conventional chemical catalytic processes for the regio-, chemo-, and stereo-specific synthesis of fine and specialty chemicals. This chapter aims to provide chemists and biotechnologists with an overview of the current state of biocatalysis in the pharmaceutical industry. We focus on the application of single and multiple enzymes to catalyze different chemical reactions relevant to the process of drug discovery and development, highlighting recent examples in which enzyme-based and whole-cell biocatalytic processes are employed for the synthesis of key pharmaceutical intermediates. We conclude the chapter with a discussion on the discovery and development of biocatalysts to access more complex chemical transformations and address current synthetic challenges in the pharmaceutical industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGreen Biocatalysis
Number of pages35
ISBN (Electronic)9781118828083
ISBN (Print)9781118822296
StatePublished - May 13 2016


  • Biocatalyst
  • Biocatalytic reaction
  • Bioconversion
  • Enzyme
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Whole-cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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