23-Sep-2003 - Wacker Chemie AG

WACKER SPECIALTIES and Jülich Fine Chemicals cooperate in the Field of Chiral Alcohols

In the future, WACKER SPECIALTIES and JFC (Jülich Fine Chemicals) will be collaborating in the area of biocatalytic ketone-compound reduction to chiral alcohols. The driving forces behind the cooperation are satisfaction of customer requirements in the dynamically developing chiral technology market and the growing importance of biotechnology for the production of these products. The cooperation helps strengthen WACKER SPECIALTIES' biotechnology platform, which - in addition to organic synthesis and silane chemistry - represents the third pillar of "WACKER's Triple Synthesis Power" within the Fine Chemicals business unit. Jülich Fine Chemicals will benefit from wider market access in the area of chiral alcohols for all production scales.

Chiral alcohols are important building blocks for synthesis, particularly for the production of active ingredients in pharmaceuticals. WACKER SPECIALTIES and Jülich Fine Chemicals are combining their specific strengths in this collaboration. WACKER SPECIALTIES is providing its broad technology portfolio in the organic synthesis of starter products, i.e. the ketone compounds, and the chemical conversion of chiral alcohols, as well as its biotech expertise. JFC is supplying its enzymes, developed and produced in-house, as well as broad knowledge in enzyme technology, and particulary its special expertise in biotransformation.

The WACKER portfolio of prochiral ketone compounds comprises b-ketone ester, b-diketone and a-chlorocarbonyl compounds. The compounds are based on WACKER SPECIALTIES core competencies such as ketene/diketene chemistry, acetoacetate chemistry and chlorination.

Stereospecific reduction to alcohol is carried out enzymatically using alcohol dehydrogenases (ADH) developed at Jülich Fine Chemicals. JFC's ADH product portfolio covers a broad spectrum of enzymatic properties. Thus, a wide variety of chiral alcohols are made available in the desired handedness. ADH enzymes ensure very high enantioselectivity during biocatalytical reduction. The chiral alcohols usually show enantio-purity of more than 99 percent.

Among the products already developed as a part of the cooperation are optically active b-hydroxy esters, hydroxy ketones, diols and a-chloroalcohols.

WACKER SPECIALTIES and Jülich Fine Chemicals plan to continually expand their range of chiral alcohols. The cooperation ensures that all the products will always be available in any amount desired. JFC offers laboratory and kilogramm quantities, whereas WACKER SPECIALTIES covers amounts needed by the ton. Besides the standard products, the two business partners also offer exclusive development of new products.

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