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Enzymes in Pharmaceutical Industry

Even before the inception of biotechnology, enzymes and proteins were used as drugs. Enzymes bind with their targets very specifically and with high affinity. They convert multiple target molecules to the desired products by catalytic action, increasing the rate of chemical interconversions and metabolic processes. This property differentiates them from all other types of drugs. Biochemical diversity and the ease with which the enzyme concentration may be increased by environmental and genetic manipulation give the advantage of using enzymes of microbial origin. Enzymes that are used therapeutically have the great advantage of being economically viable and reliable. Due to high yields, they are easy for product modification and optimization. Digestive and metabolic enzymes can be used either alone or in permutation with other therapies for the treatment of a number of diseases such as leukemia, skin ulcers, cardiovascular diseases, Parkinson’s disease, inflammation, digestive disorders, pancreatic disorders, etc. They are also in use in the diagnosis, biochemical investigation, and monitoring of many alarming diseases.

Application of Enzymes in Disease Diagnosis

Enzymes in Pharmaceutical Industry Enzyme metabolism is a basic biological process, which is essential for the survival of all species. Their special function is to catalyze chemical reactions. Enzymes have a wide range of applications in improving the reaction rate close to equilibrium. Enzymes play a key role in the metabolic activities of all organisms, whether human, animal, plant or microbial, enzyme has a wide range of applications in microbial biotechnology and its diagnosis process. The abnormality of enzyme metabolism system leads to many metabolic diseases. Studies have shown that many diseases are related to many components of enzyme metabolism system, and have been widely used in clinical examination as a specific marker of disease.

Application of Enzymes in the Treatment of Diseases

Enzymes in Pharmaceutical Industry

Enzymes used as drugs have two important characteristics, which are different from traditional drugs. Firstly, unlike drugs they bind and act on their targets with great affinity. Secondly, they are highly specific and act as catalyst to convert multiple target molecules to the desired products. These two features make enzymes specific and potent drugs that can accomplish therapeutic biochemistry in the body that small molecule cannot.

The catalytic activity of enzymes is exploited in industrial manufacturing of drugs. Enzymes are also used as digestive aid where they are used to supplement digestive enzymes like amylase, lipase, and protease. Almost all enzyme therapies developed till date deal with the genetic disorders. Also the enzyme replacement therapy is used for relatively rare, inborn error of metabolism. Several enzymes are also used to prevent and treat common diseases like heart attack and stroke. The enzyme collagenase has been reported for healing burn wound in children and enzyme chondroitinase ABC in the treatment of spinal cord injury.

Application of Enzymes in Drug Manufacturing

Enzymes in Pharmaceutical Industry It is often thought that enzyme transformations (or biocatalysis), is a new and emerging technology in the manufacture of small molecule active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). In fact a relatively large number of pharmaceuticals already on the market contain intermediates produced by biocatalysis. An explosion in the number and quantities of enzymes available to the synthetic organic chemist has made biocatalysis an increasingly attractive and viable manufacturing option. As always, cost of goods and process productivity are key drivers of adoption. In addition, sustainability and the adoption of greener and safer technologies are also clear factors influencing manufacturing route selection today and going forward. Biocatalysis is a green technology, and life cycle analysis shows that the use of recombinant technologies plays a major part in maximising the sustainability benefit of a biocatalysed process compared to a traditional chemical process.

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