Biocatalysis has undergone a remarkable transition in the last two decades, from being considered a niche technology to playing a much more relevant role in organic synthesis today. Advances in molecular biology and bioinformatics, and the decreasing costs for gene synthesis and sequencing contribute to the growing success of engineered biocatalysts in industrial applications. However, the incorporation of biocatalytic process steps in new or established manufacturing routes is not always straightforward.
To realize the full synthetic potential of biocatalysis for the sustainable manufacture of chemical building blocks, it is therefore important to regularly analyze the success factors and existing hurdles for the implementation of enzymes in large scale small molecule synthesis. Building on our previous analysis of biocatalysis in the Swiss manufacturing environment, we present a follow-up study on how the industrial biocatalysis situation in Switzerland has evolved in the last four years.
Considering the current industrial landscape, we record recent advances in biocatalysis in Switzerland as well as give suggestions where enzymatic transformations may be valuably employed to address some of the societal challenges we face today, particularly in the context of the current Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.