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12:00 AM
 | 
Feb 24, 2003
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Chiral Quest: Turning down the stereo

Shape matters in biology when it comes to effecting a reaction. But whereas one-third of all drug revenues come from molecules with two possible conformations, only a few are from the biologically desirable single enantiomer form of the chiral compounds. Chiral Quest Inc. believes there is a significant economic opportunity either to launch single enantiomer versions of existing products or to develop drug discovery processes that keep chirality in mind from the outset, based on its ability to efficiently catalyze reactions that favor one chiral form over another.

Chirality refers to the orientation of a molecule in space. Chiral compounds are made up of a mixture of two enantiomers, which are physical forms that have identical boiling points, melting points, and solvent properties - and thus are inherently difficult to separate chemically - but differ in their orientation around key carbon molecules. This...

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