Japan Corporate News - JCN

A*STAR's ICES Receives GSK-Singapore Partnership for Green & Sustainable Manufacturing Grant Award

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Source: Japan Corporate News - JCN

Singapore, July 13, 2010 - (ACN Newswire) - Researchers from the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES), a research institute of Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), were awarded two of the successful eight projects selected for funding by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), under the GSK-Singapore Partnership for Green & Sustainable Manufacturing, with a further two selected projects being ICES - university collaborations. The awards were presented in a ceremony on 2 July 2010. The joint funding is to support research in green and sustainable manufacturing practices and to establish Singapore as a centre of excellence in sustainable pharmaceutical manufacturing. Other award recipients were from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the National University of Singapore (NUS). These eight projects will receive close to US$3.5 million in funding.

The research is funded by the GSK-EDB US$35 million joint fund to grow Singapore's capabilities and talent in green and sustainable manufacturing and healthcare policy. The joint fund is part of GSK-Singapore 10-year Strategic Roadmap to address the industry's challenges and co-create innovative solutions. Established in 2002, ICES has research programmes spanning from chemistry and chemical engineering sciences, analytical characterisation and measurement to develop advanced technology for the petrochemical, general chemical, fine chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

Imagine how our environment and health can benefit if common chemicals around us are produced by green methods. With his project: 'Develop cost-effective and eco-safe manufacturing technology for pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals', Dr Chen Anqi of ICES will develop new methods for amide synthesis which are innovative, green and efficient to reduce production costs and waste generation, leading to cost savings in the long run that will also benefit consumers.

Another project by ICES' scientist, Dr Jayasree Seayad: 'Pharmaceutical and specialty chemicals synthesis', is to develop new sustainable methods of producing chemical structures which are very common in fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Current methods involve the use of hazardous compounds and produce large amounts of waste. Dr Seayad's new methods of bonding will make use of readily available chemicals traditionally regarded as unreactive and to join them together directly without using hazardous materials. This could make significant improvements to the overall manufacturing processes in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries by minimising the use of hazardous reagents and waste generation and improving production efficiency.

Many of the currently available and newly-discovered medicines have low or very low solubility in water, so they are poorly absorbed by the human body. For many medical treatments, such as for pain-relief, migraine, anti-allergy and anti-emetic, a fast and effective response is important for the patient.

One of the joint projects between NUS and ICES, 'Making more efficiently absorbed medicines', aims to reduce the amount of drug that has to be taken by patients and therefore reduce the amount of materials and energy required in their production. The project, which is headed by Associate Professor Reginald B.H. Tan, who is also a research programme manager in ICES, uses cost effective ingredients and novel processing technologies to produce stable and more water soluble forms of pharmaceutical products.

Another research collaboration between ICES and NUS is a project called 'Enantioselective biotransformations for sustainable pharmaceutical production: enzyme discovery, engineering, and synthetic application', led by Prof. Li Zhi of NUS and co-led by Dr. Liu Zhibin, a Research Fellow of ICES. The project aims to develop new enzymes with unique and high selectivity and special substrate range to benefit pharmaceutical synthesis.

Dr Keith Carpenter, Executive Director of ICES, commented: 'I am very proud that our researchers have been recognised in this way and have received these awards and I congratulate them. I would also like to congratulate EDB and GSK for their very far sighted commitment to solving this extremely important global problem'.


About the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES)

Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES) is a member of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Established in 2002, its mission is to carry out world class scientific research, to develop novel technology and to nurture creative scientists and engineers to support economic growth in Singapore and to make a positive difference to society. The research area covers chemistry and chemical engineering science, combined with advanced analytical characterisation and measurement to develop state of the art technology for the petrochemical, general chemical, fine chemical and pharmaceutical industries. www.ices.a-star.edu.sg.

About A*STAR

A*STAR, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, is Singapore's lead agency for fostering world-class scientific research and talent for a vibrant knowledge-based Singapore. A*STAR actively nurtures public sector research and development in Biomedical Sciences, Physical Sciences and Engineering, with a particular focus on fields essential to Singapore's manufacturing industry and new growth industries. It oversees 19 research institutes and consortia and supports extramural research with the universities, hospital research centres and other local and international partners. At the heart of this knowledge intensive work is human capital. Top local and international scientific talent drive knowledge creation at A*STAR research institutes. The Agency also sends scholars for undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral training in the best universities, a reflection of the high priority A*STAR places on nurturing the next generation of scientific talent. For more information, please visit www.a-star.edu.sg.



Source: A*STAR

Contact:
Hera Adam
Corporate Communications
ICES, A*STAR
Tel: +65 6796 3894
Fax: +65 6873 4805
Email: adamhc@scei.a-star.edu.sg


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