Researchers discover new enzyme to aid Parkinson’s treatment

30th May 2017 (Last Updated May 30th, 2017 18:30)

Researchers at the UK's University of Manchester and the University of York have discovered a new enzyme called RedAm that can aid the cheaper and quicker production of a drug for Parkinson’s disease.

Researchers discover new enzyme to aid Parkinson’s treatment

Researchers at the UK's University of Manchester and the University of York have discovered a new enzyme called RedAm that can aid the cheaper and quicker production of a drug for Parkinson’s disease.

Found in a fungus called Aspergillus oryzae, RedAm is a biocatalyst with the capacity to enhance reductive amination process, which is considered as an important process in the synthesis of pharmaceutical products’ chemical building blocks known as chiral amines.

Developed by a team lead by the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB) chemical biology professor Nick Turner, the enzyme is expected to majorly impact monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors such as Rasagiline.

Rasagiline is known to increase a substance acting on motor function processes in the brain of patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

"It is the first enzyme of its kind that has these properties and has the potential to improve the production of this and other important drugs."

The use of RedAms in the chiral amine synthesis is claimed to result in the decrease of time required for synthesis, cost and the manpower needed for the production of the chiral amines.

Professor Nick Turner said: “This is a very exciting discovery from both a chemistry and pharmaceutical perspective.

“It is the first enzyme of its kind that has these properties and has the potential to improve the production of this and other important drugs.”

In addition to the medication for Parkinson’s, the enzyme is expected to aid in the manufacture of other drugs based on a previous analysis, which showed around 40% of new chemical entities (NCEs) comprise one or more building blocks of chiral amine.


Image: New enzyme for cheaper and quicker production of drugs. Photo: courtesy of the University of Manchester.