Merck Research Laboratories, Merck & Co., and Codexis inventors Chris Savile, Emily Mundorff, Jeffrey C. Moore, Paul N. Devine, and Jacob M. Janey received a 2014 Thomas Edison Patent Award together for the groundbreaking Transaminase Biocatalysts invention, which was developed by Codexis and Merck scientists for production of Merck’s diabetes drug, Januvia®. The 2014 Thomas Edison Patent Awards were presented by the Research and Development Council of New Jersey to nearly 50 inventors and 13 companies and universities, at a ceremony held in the Liberty Science Center on November 6th.
The Transaminase Biocatalysts were developed in order to transform production of Januvia® into a greener and more efficient manufacturing process, through a novel biocatalytic process. Codexis designed and developed the optimal transaminase through the successful application of its CodeEvolver® protein engineering technology platform. The resulting process has been approved by the FDA, and has led to significant reductions in manufacturing costs for Januvia® and Janumet®.
“We are honored to receive this joint award with Merck,” said John Nicols, President and CEO, Codexis. “We are greatly encouraged by the pharmaceutical industry’s increasing recognition of the cost-saving and environmental benefits of incorporating biocatalysis into manufacturing processes.”
The pharmaceutical process category award was received by Paul Devine (Merck), Jacob Janey (Merck), Jeffrey Moore (Merck), Emily Mundorff (Codexis) and Chris Savile (Codexis) at the 35th Patent Award Ceremony. The awards were presented to leaders of innovation across thirteen R&D categories as well as special awards for individual contributions.