Codexis, Merck & Co. Extend Biocatalysis PactBy
Codexis, Inc., a developer of biocatalysts for the pharmaceutical and fine chemicals industry, has signed an agreement extension with Merck & Co. to license and supply a proprietary enzyme used in the manufacturing process for sitagliptin, the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Merck's Januvia, a diabetes drug and also one of the active ingredients in Merck's combination diabetes therapy, Janumet, which is a combination of sitagliptin and metformin .
Under a research and development agreement, Codexis and Merck used Codexis’ CodeEvolver protein engineering platform technology to develop a customized enzyme to serve as a biocatalyst in the sitagliptin process. The resulting enzyme streamlined the manufacturing process and increased production yield while reducing costs and waste. In 2010 Codexis and Merck were jointly presented the annual Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the development of the biocatalytic method for the synthesis of sitagliptin. In 2012 Codexis and Merck entered into a supply agreement for the enzyme.