There are many examples of natural molecules that gain, lose or change properties when carbohydrates are attached.


Hydroxylation, methylation, fluorination etc. are part of the everyday too box for medicinal and ADMET chemists. Glycosylation is more unusual.


Glycoside chemistry is difficult. Molecules with glycolysable functional groups (-OH, -COOH, -NH, -SH) often need to have some of those groups blocked so that the sugar can be put where it is needed.


Glycosyltransferase enzymes can glycosylate almost any molecule that has appropriate side groups. Normally the enzymes work regio-specifically, removing the need for side group blocking. And in many cases, stereo-specifically or with a several different sugars (glucose, galactose, xylose, glucuronic acid, rhamnose etc.).

Glycosylation can: 

  • Make compounds more soluble – improving GI absorption and enabling better formulations

  • Improve a compound’s ADMET profile – changing tissue distribution, cell uptake etc.

  • Improve enzymatic or physical stability

  • Reduce toxicity – improving the safety window in pharmaceuticals, enabling higher titres in microbial production etc.

  • Change organoleptic properties – making them sweeter, less bitter or changing the flavour profile

  • Allow novel molecules to be created – with potentially novel utilities and refreshed IP

  • Provide a fully scalable production platform at low cost


​If you don't see what you are working on right now, contact us and we can assist. We will be releasing additional applications and uses in the coming months.