Organic catalysts help drugs work effectively

| Print |  Email
Articles - September 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011

0911_NextCatalysts are the felines of the drug development world. These long-lived compounds help facilitate the chemical reactions that make drugs work effectively, but are never actually consumed themselves. Of course, having so many lives is not always a good thing. And the problem with catalysts is they are typically made from toxic metals, which can create hazardous waste problems. So a few years ago, a team at Oregon State University developed Hua Cat, an “organocatalyst” that is more environmentally friendly than the conventional kind. Derived from non-toxic, soluble elements such as amino acids, Hua Cat also has the ability to trigger “unique sorts of chemical reactions” that will be useful for drug discovery, says Rich Carter, an Oregon State University professor of chemistry and co-inventor of the new catalyst. Carter says his team created Hua Cat because nothing else worked for one of the compounds they were trying to develop and only afterward realized the organocatalyst had a much broader range of applications. Supported by the University Venture Development Fund, a state program designed to commercialize university-based discoveries, Hua Cat is now being manufactured by Albany-based Synthetech. About that name. It’s a reference to Hua Yang, an OSU postdoctoral research associate who was the first person to make the new compound. Says Carter: “My students started saying ‘Hua Cat,’ and it stuck.”

LINDA BAKER

 

More Articles

Department of Self-Promotion

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

061715-awards1Oregon Business wins journalism awards.


Read more...

100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

As momentum grows at the state level to introduce far-reaching environmental regulations, such as carbon pricing and the Clean Fuels Program, Oregon employers continue to go the extra mile to create green workplaces for their employees.


Read more...

Frothy Battle

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY ROBERT MULLIN

Latest development in Nestlé plant saga sparks debate about the value of water.


Read more...

Biker dreams

The Latest
Friday, May 15, 2015
bike at ater wynn-thumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is seeking input from businesses on a $5.5 million initiative to create a network of biking, transit and pedestrian trails within Portland’s central city.


Read more...

The Green Paradox

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY EMILY LIEDEL

Inside the topsy-turvy world of corporate sustainability rankings.


Read more...

Downtime with John Helmick

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Live, Work, Play: CEO of Gorilla Capital.


Read more...

5 stats about Oregon fireworks

The Latest
Thursday, June 18, 2015
fireworksthumb001BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Fireworks are a booming industry, even if the pyrotechnics have turned July 4th into a day fire marshals, and many residents, love to hate.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS