Plura Biosciences Debuts RONHC Catalyst Technology Through Sigma-Aldrich

Note to Reporters: A photo of Tomislav Rovis is available with this release at

Plura Biosciences Inc. today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (Nasdaq: SIAL) to market and distribute its revolutionary RONHC (pronounced Ronk) catalysts that enable the green manufacture of chiral fluorine-containing biopharmaceuticals.

Prof. Tomislav Rovis developed the RONHC technology in his labs at Colorado State University in Fort Collins where he currently holds the John K. Stille chair in the Department of Chemistry, following his post doctoral training at Harvard University, Three separate classes of RONHC catalysts have been developed that individually catalyze highly important green manufacturing processes to fluorine and non-fluorine drug molecule classes.

“The RONHC catalysts present a unique opportunity to innovate new fluorine-containing drug candidates with differentiated properties not readily accessible prior to the invention of the RONHC catalysts,” said Joe Guiles, Ph.D., co-founder of Plura Biosciences.

The installation of a fluorine atom into a drug molecule’s structure has led to significant improvement in the development of numerous successfully marketed pharmaceutical agents over the last several decades. Numerous technologies have been recently pioneered to produce fluoro-aromatics, but little technology exists to facilitate non-aromatic structures, in particular chiral fluorine molecular structures. Plura Biosciences seeks to change this situation through the commercialization of its catalysts and companion portfolio of chiral fluorine building blocks, which will premiere to scientists around the globe through the Sigma-Aldrich website.

“As part of its strategic initiative to bring the latest, most innovative research tools to the scientific community, Sigma-Aldrich can ensure that Plura’s RONHC catalysts, along with several important chiral fluorine building blocks, are readily available to medicinal chemists to support their pharmaceutical research,” said Troy Ryba, Manager, Chemistry Strategy at Sigma-Aldrich. “We look forward to our alliance with Plura Biosciences and are pleased to be able to expand our catalyst offering with RONHC catalyst technology.”

Plura Biosciences intends to deepen these product lines and forge strategic relationships with biopharma companies interested in leveraging the RONHC catalyst technology.

“We are excited to see this innovative technology be made available for the discovery and development of new more effective biopharmaceuticals and other chemical products,” said Terry Opgenorth, Vice President of CSU Ventures, Colorado State University’s technology transfer office, and former VP of research at Abbott Laboratories.

About Plura Biosciences Inc.
Plura Biosciences is privately held company with an emerging portfolio of catalyst technology for the green manufacture of chiral fluorinated biopharmaceuticals and chiral biopharmaceuticals. The company’s catalyst technology and utility for manufacture of chiral acids, amines, and amides are licensed exclusively from Colorado State University.

About CSU Ventures

CSU Ventures is dedicated to the business of technology transfer and commercialization at Colorado State University, bringing innovations and technologies discovered at CSU into the marketplace for the benefit of society. CSU Ventures protects, manages and transfers CSU innovations by connecting individuals and companies with University researchers. This results in new products, businesses, and jobs that positively impact economic growth for Colorado and society as a whole. As an affiliate of a renowned land-grant institution, CSU Ventures striveS to put the results of CSU’s academic research to use, and ensure that these innovations impact people’s lives locally, nationally, and globally.

About Sigma-Aldrich
Sigma-Aldrich is a leading life science and high technology company whose biochemical, organic chemical products, kits and services are used in scientific research, including genomic and proteomic research, biotechnology, pharmaceutical development, the diagnosis of disease and as key components in pharmaceutical, diagnostics and high technology manufacturing. Sigma-Aldrich customers include more than 1.3 million scientists and technologists in life science companies, university and government institutions, hospitals and industry. The company operates in 38 countries and has nearly 9,000 employees whose objective is to provide excellent service worldwide. Sigma-Aldrich is committed to accelerating customer success through innovation and leadership in life science and high technology. Sigma-Aldrich is a registered trademark of Sigma-Aldrich Co. LLC.