The Almac biocatalysis group has secured a BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) program with UCL focused on metagenomics and enzyme discovery. Almac and the departments of Biochemical Engineering and Chemistry at UCL will perform the R&D work, with the input from Professors John Ward and Helen Hailes, leaders in the field of biocatalyst discovery and application.
A limitation of biocatalysis can be the number of diverse enzymes available in a given enzyme class. Metagenomics, a culture-independent technique used to extract the total DNA from an environment, can allow access of as much as 99% of enzyme genes in environmental samples.
Dr. Tom Moody, Almac’s head of Biocatalysis & Isotope Chemistry, said, “This clearly adds further depth to our expertise and complements our recent collaboration with DSM in accessing diverse enzyme collections.”
Professor Ward remarked, “We are very excited to continue working with Almac on this prestigious project, building on many years of collaboration and partnership. Indeed, this project will see our internal capabilities further developed with true industrial needs in our vision.”