Amino acids are organic compounds comprised of amine and carboxylic groups and a unique side chain. Amino acids perform essential functions such as protein buildup and also participate in various metabolic processes. All amino acids except glycine exist in two sterioisomeric forms also called as enantiomers. These called as Dextro (D) or Levo (L) rotatory forms. These amino acids show optical activity and have ability to rotate the plane polarized light. Amino acids rotating the plane towards left are L-amino acids; while those rotating the plane towards right are D-amino acids. It was believed that, majority of the amino acids found in higher life forms are L-amino acids; and that D-amino acids are mostly found in cell wall of bacteria. However recent research suggests that D-amino acids are found in humans as well as animals, and participate in important metabolic pathways.
Various discoveries have proved the importance of D-amino acids in pharmaceutical industry and food industry. Although research is in its nascent stage, an array of applications of D-amino acids are driving the market. D-amino acids are a major component in manufacturing of antibiotics, siderophores, surfactins, and peptidoglycans. D-amino acids are used in semi-synthesis of amoxicillin, ampicillin, cephadroxyl and various others. Development of organic amino acids for industrial usage and for polypeptides is a challenge for research personnel. Production of amino acids results in a racemic mixture of D- and L- amino acids; hence manufacturing of optically pure amino acids needs further processing which increases the cost of production. Racemase enzyme is widely used in industries to convert L-amino acids to D-amino acids. Due to high cost of production, D-amino acids are more costly as compared to L-amino acids. In view to reduce this cost, scientists are trying to discover alternative methods to manufacture optically pure amino acids. An article published in Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry in 2013, details a chemical approach to convert L-amino acids to D forms. This method is expected to simplify the process and also reduce the operating cost.
The global D-amino acids market is expected to grow rapidly due to its increasing scope of applications. Research and development towards simplifying production process is also expected to expand the market in the near future. Application of antibiotics in biopharmaceutical research has also been a key segment for D-amino acids. Increased demand for processed food, growing demand for animal feed are other major drivers for this market.
Asia-Pacific dominates the global D-amino acids market. Asia Pacific region has been the home for generic drugs manufacturers for a long time. Low operating costs, availability of cheap yet skilled labor and large customer base are key reasons why western countries prefer outsourcing manufacturing business to Asian countries. China is emerging as a prime destination for amino acids manufacturers. Large numbers of companies have emerged as global suppliers of D-amino acids; thus helping manufacturers to tap global cost effective resources.
Some of the major players in the D-amino acids market include Sichuan Tongsheng Amino Acid Co., Sigma-Aldrich Co., Sekisui Medical Co., Ltd., IRIS Biotech GmbH, AnaSpec, Inc., Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co. Ltd., EVONIK Industries AG, Genzyme Corp., Shanghai Hanhong Chemical Co., Ltd., LifeSpan Biosciences, Inc., Sekisui Medical Co., Ltd., Kyowa Hakko Bio Co. Ltd., Tocris Bioscience, and Zhangjiagang Huachang Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
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- Asia Pacific
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