Developing Biosynthetic Isoquinoline

Jenni Heikkinen from Aalto University is currently working on her master's thesis on the production of biosynthetic isoquinoline together with Ville Takio from Vimea, a startup aiming at commercialising this new method of producing the pharmaceutical molecule. Making the molecule with conventional organic synthesis is labour intensive and requires harsh chemistry. Using biochemistry would enable a one-pot reaction.

" One kilogram of isoquinoline costs about four hundred thousand euros. That doesn't include the labour at all, but with these biological approaches, we can do it for pennies," says Ville Takio from Vimea Oy

Isoquinoline is building block for many pharmaceutical derivatives. Ville Takio is especially interested in the use isoquinoline for treating addictions such as alcoholism.