Biocatalysis has become an integral field in the invention of novel synthetic methodologies for industrial biotechnology, replacing specific traditional organic synthetic steps by biocatalytically mediated reactions (“green processes”) with all their beneficial economic and environmental implications.
Within this context the research is centered on the invention of novel biocatalysts and their application to enantioselective, regioselective and chemoselective key-steps in the synthesis of a variety of target molecules of biological and medicinal application. Latest examples are the asymmetric synthesis of non proteinogenic (non natural) amino acids and the synthesis of amines and amino alcohols by using novel reductases and hydrolases.
Another research area focusses on heterocycles, in particular on the synthesis of pyrrolo-, pyrazolo- and thienopyrimidines. Such condensed pyrimidines are widely distributed in nature and are crucial to all living cells, e.g. as constituents of DNA and RNA. Thienopyrimidines can act as bioisosteres of quinazolines and other nucleobases and as such are important drug-like scaffolds for kinase inhibitor development.