• Health and Sustainability through Biotechnology

    Health and Sustainability through Biotechnology

    Isomerase is a world-leading integrated biotechnology service provider. We discover and develop processes for clients, to generate important products using biotechnology and synthetic biology.

Microbial Natural Products and Natural Products Drug Discovery Services


The team at Isomerase have the expertise to carry out drug discovery and development programmes on most microbially-produced natural products. In particular, we own granted technology IP covering methods for optimising a class of natural products called polyketides, a large group of commercially successful molecules, including rapamycin, erythromycin, amphotericin and FK506.  


What are Natural Products? Why Natural Products? Why Isomerase Therapeutics?

Microbial natural products are small molecules synthesised by bacteria or fungi and have been hugely successful commercially in a variety of therapeutic areas. In practice, they are produced by scaleable fermentation, followed by purification to homogeneity. 


They have evolved to bind to and interact with target molecules in biological environments. As such, they are enriched in phenotypic screens and represent an excellent starting point for drug discovery research.


Natural products continue to make a significant impact on the pharmaceutical industry. >25% of all NCEs approved between 1981 and 2006 were natural products or derivatives.

Through evolution in a competitive environment, microbial natural products possess a number of properties that make them very suitable starting points for drug discovery:

- Potent and selective binding

- Cell penetrance

- Cover a diverse, relatively untapped chemical space

- One of few chemistries able to interfere with protein-protein interactions

- Scaleable manufacture with a well defined route to commercial production

Isomerase is currently the only company offering both its proprietary biosynthetic engineering and synthetic biology technologies along with semi-synthetic chemistry to optimise natural products as a service. 

We have significant experience in using this combination of techniques to optimise the properties of the molecule of interest to generate novel and inventive candidate drugs in a way that semi-synthesis alone cannot.


For a non-exhaustive list of example Microbial Natural Products, see our examples page. If you are unsure of whether our technology can help you, please contact us.

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