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Biotechnol Adv. 2009 May-Jun;27(3):286-96. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2009.01.003. Epub 2009 Jan 22.

Sustainable biocatalytic synthesis of L-homophenylalanine as pharmaceutical drug precursor.

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School of Chemical Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Penang, Malaysia.


Over the past decade, L-homophenylalanine is extensively used in the pharmaceutical industry as a precursor for production of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, which possesses significant clinical application in the management of hypertension and congestive heart failure (CHF). A number of chemical methods have been reported thus far for the synthesis of L-homophenylalanine. However, chemical methods generally suffer from process complexity, high cost, and environmental pollution. On the other hand, enantiomerically pure L-homophenylalanine can be obtained elegantly and efficiently by employing biocatalytic methods, where it appears to be the most attractive process in terms of potential industrial applications, green chemistry and sustainability. Herein we review the biocatalytic synthesis of vital L-homophenylalanine as potentially useful intermediate in the production of pharmaceutical drugs in environmentally friendly conditions, using membrane bioreactor for sustainable biotransformation process. One envisages the future prospects of developing an integrated membrane bioreactor system with improved performance for L-homophenylalanine production.

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