Biocatalysis in drug development of neurodegenerative diseases: a mini review


University of Évora, LAQV-Requimte, Chemistry Derpartment, Universidade de Évora, Évora, Portugal


Due to population ageing, the number of people diagnosed with neurodegenerative disorders has increased. The financial costs related with these diseases poses a major challenge for medicine and public health. The search for new chiral drugs or intermediates following a biocatalytic pathway with more efficient methods and lower costs is of particular interest to the pharmaceutical industry. 

In this review we present the synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients to treat or ameliorate neurodegenerative diseases.



More than 600 disorders are related to the brain and the nervous system. Neurodegenerative diseases are defined as hereditary and sporadic conditions which are characterized by progressive nervous system dysfunction. They include diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and other dementias, Epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease (PD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Huntington’s Disease (HD), among others. The number of people living with neurodegenerative disorders has increased worldwide, mainly because of population ageing. The associated increase in demand for care raises societal costs turning neurodegenerative disorders a major challenge for medicine and public health systems (1). 

With this in mind, the production of enantiomerically pure compounds by the pharmaceutical industry to treat these diseases is of extreme importance. Biocatalysis has become a relevant t ... ...