Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Major pharmaceuticals contract for North East scientists

Two North East scientists have landed a contract to supply a range of enzymes which will make drug production more environmentally friendly and more effective.

Professor Gary Black and Dr Justin Perry, both from Durham, are scientists at Northumbria University in Newcastle. They have joined forces in a new venture called Nzomics Biocatalysis and have signed their first commercial contract with Almac Sciences, one of the world’s leading service providers to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.

Nzomics is a new service from Northumbria University’s School of Applied Sciences. It will produce customised enzymes for pharmaceutical companies, thanks to the blend of biochemistry and chemistry expertise of Professor Black and Dr Perry.

Professor Black explains: “There are two significant advantages of using enzymes in drug production, rather than the traditional chemical method. Firstly, it is much more environmentally friendly as the traditional chemical method involves using acids and working at high temperatures, creating effluent, which can have an adverse affect on the environment.

“The second advantage is the real flexibility of enzymes. There are certain things you can’t do with chemistry alone and certain drugs you can’t make with traditional chemical methods. Enzymes can make changes in a way you can’t achieve with traditional chemical methods.”

Nzomics has been working with Northumbria University’s commercial division, Northumbria Commercial Enterprises on a business strategy and is expected to be the University’s first spin out company when it is officially launched next year.

For mroe about Nzomics, visit

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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