Author Archives: Karen O'Brien

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A Petition to the US EPA to Reinstate Green Chemistry Funding.

Demand that EPA Reinstate Green Chemistry Program

Environment, Petitions — By on April 29, 2012 7:51 am @ForceChange

Target: EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

Goal: To demand that grants promised to green chemistry programs be reinstated.

With all of the news about toxic substances in the foods we eat and the clothes we wear, it should come as no surprise that some scientists are looking for alternatives. The relatively new branch of “green chemistry” is aimed at developing processes and compounds that are environmentally safe, to replace the decades old dangerous processes that we have today. Unfortunately, the EPA has just announced that it is revoking twenty million dollars in grants that would have gone to this important field.

The twenty million dollars was supposed to go towards funding four new green chemistry facilities, an important step in a budding field. Scientists were already submitting grant proposals when the news came that the EPA was cutting off all funding for the program. No explanation has been given.

Despite the EPA’s claims that the money “may be available in the future” scientists are skeptical. One university professor said that he had never heard of a government agency pulling all of its funding for a program so close to the grant proposal deadline. The last day to submit proposals was just three weeks away when the EPA yanked its funding. Some scientists had already been working on raising funds for their projects and getting grant writers for months when the news came.

Green chemistry is an important new field because it not only takes consumer health into consideration, but the environment. And green chemistry the entire lifecycle of a product—meaning that it ensures that the compound will not become toxic when it decomposes. In an age where the environment is constantly under threat, the EPA must step up and use its resources to aid scientists who want to make the world a better place. Let your voice be heard. Speak up and let the EPA know that the green chemistry program must continue.

Sign the Petition here. 

Leather trash turns to medical treasure.

Synopsis by Wim Thielemans and Audrey Moores, Apr 20, 2012

Catalina, M, J Cot, AM Balu, JC Serrano-Ruiz and R Luque. 2011. Tailor-made biopolymers from leather waste valorisation. Green chemistry http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c2gc16330f.

A versatile and potentially valuable natural material could be easily collected from the abundant waste produced when leather is made from animal hides, according to researchers from Spain who explain their novel process in the journal Green Chemistry.

Leather processing generates large amounts of remnant hides that are generally thrown away. But this solid waste is rich in a valuable and medically useful protein called collagen. This new method to recycle or reuse the waste alleviates the dumping, produces a necessary product and increases sustainable manufacturing.

Collagen is abundant in mammals and is an important part of muscle, tendons, ligaments, skin, guts, vessels and bone. The resilient, soft and flexible material does not trigger immune reactions, making it a rich resource for medical, cosmetics and veterinary applications. Collagen is used for implants, as sutures and in regenerative medicine – a field of medicine that grows new human cells, tissues or organs for transplant.

The researchers tested different extraction scenarios for their effect on the amount and quality of the collagen. They extracted the protein from two different types of processed cowhides to demonstrate the versatility of the technique.

The hides were cut, treated with acid and ground into a water solution. This process allowed the collagen molecules to dissolve in water. The collagen particles ranged in size from a few nanometers to a few dozen nanometers. Because size matters for collagen applications, the particles were filtered and separated according to their size.

To find the best method, they varied a number of factors, such as temperature, leather pieces, size after grinding, the nature of the acid, stir speed and type of water solution. The optimal results for yield came from an extraction using acetic acid – basically vinegar – for 24 hours at 25oC and a smaller particle size after grinding.

Next, they manipulated the extracted collagen molecules to determine their stability and mechanical properties. In fact, the use of collagen from leather is often limited because of the poor mechanical properties of the recovered collagen. Specifically, collagen must be rigid enough while not swelling too much when exposed to water. Here the researchers found a simple chemical treatment to render the collagen firm and stable.

From this method, they made several different kinds of materials – fibers, sponges, films, threads and gels – with rigidity and swelling in water properties necessary for biomedical applications.

The research is a good example of finding new ways to use a waste material for high value applications. More work will need to be done to compare the properties of these materials with commercial collagens. The next step will be to show the collagen source is reliable and free of contamination.

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The above work by Environmental Health News is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.environmentalhealthnews.org.

US EPA 2013 Budget and Chemicals Issues.

Elizabeth Grossman has published a new piece in Chemical Watch, entitled “Chemicals fare well in US EPA’s 2013 budget proposals“, which reviews the proposed 2013 US EPA budget on chemicals-related issues.

Specifically related to green chemistry, she finds that,

“The budget allots $13.9m for chemical information collection, management and transparency; $14.9m for screening and assessing chemical risks; and $24.6m for reducing chemical risks. EPA says that in 2013 “the toxics programme will maintain its ‘zero tolerance’ goal in preventing the introduction of unsafe new chemicals into commerce” but notes that thousands of chemicals already in commerce remain unassessed.

The budget’s science and research priorities include an increase of $4.1m in funding for “sustainable molecular design of chemicals” to develop inherently safer processes and products. The budget also requests $20.9m for the EPA’s Pollution Prevention Program which encourages the use of “greener” chemicals, technologies, processes and products, among them the Design for Environment, Environmental Preferable Purchasing, Green Chemistry and Green Engineering programmes.”

For the full piece please go here.

See the EPA Budget webpage

 

Green Chemistry and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement

By Lin Kaatz Chary, PhD, MPH, Executive Director,  Great Lakes Green Chemistry Network 

The cornerstone of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA), a non-binding agreement between the U.S. and Canada (the Parties) which has been a pillar of Great Lakes chemicals policy on both sides of the border, has been the recognition that preventing the entry of hazardous and toxic substances into the Great Lakes is the most effective way of restoring the quality of the Great Lakes ecosystem and protecting it from further contamination and harm. Building on language originally written for the U.S. Clean Water Act in the 1970’s, the 1987 amended Agreement called for the “virtual elimination of toxic substances in toxic amounts” to be achieved through “zero discharge” of pollutants into the lakes. In addition, the Agreement stressed the need to develop substitutes and alternatives for existing toxic contaminants.
This emphasis on prevention provides a perfect interface for integrating the principles of Green Chemistry and Engineering (“GC&E”) into the GLWQA, and offers, for the first time in the Agreement’s history, an explicit practical strategy for achieving the goals of virtual elimination and zero discharge. One of the problems historically with the GLWQA has been the inability of various stakeholders to come to agreement on how to practically define zero discharge and virtual elimination, with many in the regulated community expressing the concern that neither was achievable.
The framework of green chemistry and green engineering make that argument far less relevant, because the emphasis is shifted to committing to continuous improvement in the development of substitutions and alternatives, and to a model based on prevention rather than management of chemical exposures. GC&E, in the words of a 2010 report by the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale University, are “systems-based approaches that promote design for reduced hazard across the entire life cycle of chemicals, from design, manufacture, and use to end of life. They integrate knowledge from across chemistry, engineering, environmental science, and toxicology in order to reduce and, ideally, eliminate adverse impacts on health and the environment. GC&E provide a framework for a preventative approach based on innovation that improves technical performance, profits, and social benefit.”[1]
The Yale report goes on to characterize three key areas in which GC&E can be useful, which are quoted here in their entirety with slight modifications to enhance their relevance to the specific needs and process of the GLWQA.
 
1. Technical: The development and deployment of metrics, tools, education, knowledge sharing and communication to support the continuous development and implementation of GC&E-based innovations.
2. Policy: The use of regulatory authorities in a variety of ways, including (but not limited) to help remove market distortions that protect or favor more hazardous alternatives, to provide incentives for GC&E-based alternatives, and to engage in voluntary agreements and collaborations.
3. Financial: The leveraging of funds by the governments of both Parties to support green chemistry and engineering research, development, and implementation.[2]
 At a time when millions of tons of toxic pollutants continue to be released into the Great Lakes basin, the need for a more aggressive and more clearly defined strategy based on this model for addressing the problem is more important than ever. In its 2010 report Partners in Pollution 2, the Canadian group Pollution Watch, using the most recent data available (2007), reported that “285 million kg of pollutants . . . were released and transferred (excluding recycling) . . . into the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River basin” from reporting facilities.[3] While this actually represents a reduction in releases, this magnitude of chemical loading is still a significant challenge!
And, while both Parties agree that great strides have been made in reaching the “low hanging fruit” and achieving many of the goals set forth by the Binational Toxics Strategy in 1999, the statistics above demonstrate that there is still a long way to go. Better tools for analysis are being developed at EPA’s Sustainable Technology Division, such as their Waste Reduction Algorithm (“WAR”), and the Program to Assist the Replacement of Industrial Solvents (“PARIS”), and both of these are based on green chemistry and engineering principles, which is encouraging. But, will these tools be brought to bear in the new Agreement? Is there enough cross fertilization at EPA and Environment Canada to assure that they will be aware of these tools and formally integrate them into the Agreement? The binational negotiation team has made it clear that neither green chemistry nor green engineering are explicitly referenced in the new Agreement; what does this mean in terms of their recognition and knowledge about the kinds of resources available in their own agencies, let alone at outside institutions? As we will not see any language until after the Agreement has been signed and released to the public, the extent to which GC & E will be part of the new Agreement remains unknown.


[1] Matus, Kira MJ, Beach, Evan, Zimmerman, Julie B., Integrating Green Chemistry and Green Engineering into the Revitalization of the Toxics Substances Control Act, Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT, June, 2010, p.3.
[2] Ibid, p. 4.
[3] Partners in Pollution 2, Pollution Watch, Toronto, CA, 2010, http://www.cela.ca/sites/cela.ca/files/709.ExecutiveSummaryEN.pdf

EPA Research Chief Paul Anastas Announces Plan To Step Down.

InsideEPA.com

Posted: January 5, 2012

EPA’s research chief, Paul Anastas, who has led the agency’s controversial chemical risk assessment program, is leaving the agency next month.

Anastas, the assistant administrator for the Office of Research and Development (ORD) and agency science advisor, announced his plans in email to all ORD staff Jan. 5. Anastas will be returning to Yale University, where he is on leave from his position as a professor of green chemistry.

“With deeply mixed emotions, I am writing to inform you that I will be stepping down from my position . . . in mid-February in order to return to my colleagues and students at Yale University and — most importantly — to my wonderful family in New Haven, Connecticut,” Anastas writes.

Anastas is the second high-level EPA official to leave the agency in the past few months. Late last year, EPA toxics chief Steve Owens left the agency for a position in the private sector. While Anastas did not announce who will assume his EPA responsibilities, informed sources have suggested that Ramona Trovato, ORD associate assistant administrator, may serve as the office’s acting assistant administrator.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told EPA staff in an email that the agency will announce a “formal transition” in the coming weeks. “In the meantime, I assure you that science will remain the cornerstone of all of our Agency’s efforts and EPA scientists will continue to set the standard for cutting edge research and study — work that will yield a healthier, cleaner environment for all Americans,” she wrote Jan. 5.

Many observers have been expecting Anastas to leave, though late last year he denied any plans to depart. “I have no plans to leave. I am honored to be working with the people of ORD and am enjoying it immensely,” Anastas told Inside EPA Nov. 21. “Like all Presidential appointees, I serve at the pleasure of the President.”

But in the Jan. 5 email, Anastas writes, “While after mid-February, I will no longer be serving in an official capacity, I will continue to be part of the broader pursuit of sustainability through my work and research at Yale University. I have said before that while I can’t always guarantee the win, I will always guarantee the fight. I have fought beside you in taking the necessary steps to protect the health and environment of the American public.” Read more…

 

 

U.S. EPA to fund “Centers for Molecular Design”.

Funding Opportunities

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Research and Development
National Center for Environmental Research
Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Program

Centers for Sustainable Molecular Design

This is the initial announcement of this funding opportunity.

Funding Opportunity Number: EPA-G2012-STAR-C1

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 66.509

Solicitation Opening Date: December 27, 2011
Solicitation Closing Date: April 25, 2012, 11:59:59 pm Eastern Time

Eligibility Contact: James Gentry (gentry.james@epa.gov); phone: 703-347-8093
Electronic Submissions: Todd Peterson (peterson.todd@epa.gov); phone: 703-308-7224
Technical Contacts: Nora Savage (savage.nora@epa.gov); phone: 703-347-8104
José Zambrana (zambrana.jose@epa.gov); phone: 703-347-8057

Table of Contents:
SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
Synopsis of Program
Award Information
Eligibility Information
Application Materials
Agency Contacts
I. FUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION
A. Introduction
B. Background
C. Authority and Regulations
D. Specific Areas of Interest/Expected Outputs and Outcomes
E. References
F. Special Requirements
II. AWARD INFORMATION
III. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
A. Eligible Applicants
B. Cost Sharing
C. Other
IV. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
A. Internet Address to Request Application Package
B. Content and Form of Application Submission
C. Submission Dates and Times
D. Funding Restrictions
E. Submission Instructions and Other Submission Requirements
V. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION
A. Peer Review
B. Programmatic Review
C. Funding Decisions
VI. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
A. Award Notices
B. Disputes
C. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
VII. AGENCY CONTACTS

Access Standard STAR Forms (Forms and Standard Instructions Download Page)
View research awarded under previous solicitations (Funding Opportunities: Archive Page)

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

Synopsis of Program:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is seeking applications for an interdisciplinary center focusing on the sustainable molecular design of chemicals.  The aim of the center will be to develop a set of parameters and strategies that will establish design criteria regarding the properties of chemicals that will lead to the development of intrinsically less hazardous substances when compared to those currently used in society.  These newly acquired criteria and design principles will direct researchers towards the generation of novel chemicals that will minimize, and preferably eliminate, associated potential environmental and human health impacts that may occur during the life cycle of that chemical. The advent of these novel chemicals and their respective discovery of correlations between a chemical’s inherent properties and their adverse impacts require the development of improved methods for the design of next generation chemicals.

The Center will explore methods, establish knowledge bases, and develop guidance for eliminating and avoiding those attributes or properties of a chemical that most significantly influence their potential impacts. It is also anticipated the guidance for improved design and understanding of inherent chemical properties resulting from research supported under this Request for Applications (RFA) will enable continual improvements in the quality of life without detrimental impairment of public health or the ecosystem. Furthermore, the developed guidance and capability to reduce a substance’s ability to manifest hazard will result in substances which are in direct accordance with the principles of sustainability.

Note:  The term “chemicals” broadly refers to any and all types of materials, including individual chemicals, compounds or mixtures of compounds, endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), and nanomaterials.

Award Information:
Anticipated Type of Award: Grant
Estimated Number of Awards: Up to approximately two (2) awards
Anticipated Funding Amount: Approximately $10 million total for all awards
Potential Funding per Award: Up to a total of $5 million, including direct and indirect costs, with a maximum duration of 4 years.  Cost-sharing is not required.  Proposals with budgets exceeding the total award limits will not be considered.

Eligibility Information:
Public nonprofit institutions/organizations (includes public institutions of higher education and hospitals) and private nonprofit institutions/organizations (includes private institutions of higher education and hospitals) located in the U.S., state and local governments, Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments, and U.S. territories or possessions are eligible to apply.  See full announcement for more details.

Application Materials:
To apply under this solicitation, use the application package available at Grants.gov (for further submission information see Section IV.E. “Submission Instructions and other Submission Requirements”).  The necessary forms for submitting a STAR application will be found on the National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) web site, the Forms and Standard Instructions Download Page. If your organization is not currently registered with Grants.gov, you need to allow approximately one week to complete the registration process.  This registration, and electronic submission of your application, must be performed by an authorized representative of your organization.

If you do not have the technical capability to utilize the Grants.gov application submission process for this solicitation, call 1-800-490-9194 or send a webmail message to the NCER Contact Us page at least 15 calendar days before the submission deadline to assure timely receipt of alternate submission instructions.  In your message  provide the funding opportunity number and title of the program, specify that you are requesting alternate submission instructions, and provide a telephone number, fax number, and an email address, if available.  Alternate instructions will be emailed whenever possible.  Any applications submitted through alternate submission methods must comply with all the provisions of this Request for Applications (RFA), including Section IV, and be received by the solicitation closing date identified above.

Agency Contacts:
Eligibility Contact: James Gentry (gentry.james@epa.gov); phone: 703-347-8093
Electronic Submissions: Todd Peterson (peterson.todd@epa.gov); phone: 703-308-7224
Technical Contacts: Nora Savage (savage.nora@epa.gov); phone: 703-347-8104
José Zambrana (zambrana.jose@epa.gov); phone: 703-347-8057

Full Announcement HERE.

Caffeine strengthens connections between neurons in a little-known area of the brain.

NIEHS Environmental Factor – January 2012: Intramural papers of the month:

A recent study published by NIEHS scientists suggests how and where caffeine might act in the brain to increase cognitive function. Previous research shows that caffeine acts by blocking the inhibitory effects of adenosine on cyclic adenosine monophosphate AMP production in the brain. This study represents the first demonstration of long-lasting synaptic plasticity induced by in vivo exposure to caffeine, as reported in the journal Nature Neuroscience.As a widely consumed stimulant, caffeine’s effects on synaptic transmission in the CA2 area of the hippocampus, where adenosine A1 receptors are highly enriched, were not known. Rats were divided into three groups and given doses equivalent to two large cups of coffee, a highly caffeinated energy drink, or a dose that exceeded most people’s daily consumption. All doses of caffeine strengthened the connections between neurons of CA2, but not in other areas of the hippocampus, a brain structure important for learning and memory.These results provide a pleasingly simple explanation for the common daily human experience. Adenosine levels increase in the brain during the day, inhibiting the production of cyclic AMP. Although these effects recover during sleep, caffeine accelerates recovery by blocking any residual adenosine action and strengthens the activity of CA2 synapses of the hippocampus. This discovery also raises exciting new questions about the role of CA2 neurons in brain function.Citation: Simons SB, Caruana DA, Zhao M, Dudek SM. 2011. Caffeine-induced synaptic potentiation in hippocampal CA2 neurons. Nat Neurosci; doi:10.1038/nn.2962 [Online 20 November 2011].

via Environmental Factor – January 2012: Intramural papers of the month.

Smelling good without stinking up the environment.

Boethling, RS. 2011. Incorporating environmental attributes into musk design. Green Chemistry http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c1gc15782e.

Synopsis by Wim Thielemans, Dec 01, 2011

Chemists developing compounds used to create fragrances can weed out chemicals that don’t meet toxicity and environmental standards early in the design process, finds a study that predicted the toxicity and persistence of a variety of musk chemicals using a sophisticated computer program.

The program – developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – uses molecular structure and other chemical attributes to predict if a compound will easily break down in the environment. The results are published in the journal Green Chemistry.

While the tools are not perfect, they help for early screening. One important use would be to compare the environmental effects of chemical classes or individual molecules to determine whether to proceed or block a chemical’s development. Further analysis and testing on the musks given the go ahead would still be needed to avoid producing a harmful molecule that might not be tagged as dangerous at this stage of development, because the computer modeling did not consider many potential mechanisms of toxicity, for example, whether or not the molecule is a potential endocrine disruptor.

The findings show that chemists can avoid making certain types of musks that may be harmful. Musks add scent to consumer products and can harm the environment. Predicting a compound’s later performance at a very early stage – even before the molecules are made – would make design and development of safer fragrance musks much cheaper.

Fragrances are used in a wide variety of products from the obvious perfumes to soaps, detergents, shampoos and toothpastes. The natural and synthetic musk compounds produce the rich and deep smells that form the base of some fragrances. The long-lived musks are chemically heavy and evaporate slowly. Their scents surface well after their use – at least 30 minutes – and may linger for a day. They also help hold lighter smells for a longer period of time.

These same longevity properties mean the compounds tend to end up in municipal wastewater and its solid sludge, which is often reused as fertilizer. Through these routes, musk compounds are released into the environment. They can accumulate in soils, wildlife and people. Several synthetic musks are toxic to fish, algae and aquatic invertebrates.

Chemists still design new synthetic musks. They use tools to predict the compounds’ future performances as a fragrance. A similar tool to predict their toxicity, their accumulation in the environment and their persistence in the environment is needed. A compound persists in the environment if it does not biodegrade.

The new research from the U.S. EPA looked at 106 synthetic and natural musk chemicals. The predictions on the environmental impact of these musks were compared to experimental data.

The study found and identified specific types of musks that were less problematic than others. It also verified that existing tools and knowledge could be used to screen new molecules for their potential to be toxic, not break down and accumulate.

According to the author, the research shows “that it can be convenient and useful to include environmental properties in that screening prior to any testing or manufacture of a chemical.” The tools and knowledge exist, and it is time to apply them to chemical production for “economic as well as environmental sense.”

Brewing bioethanol in a single pot.

Synopsis by Wim Thielemans, Nov 01, 2011

Nakashima, K, K Yamaguchi, N Taniguchi, S Arai, R Yamada, S Katahira, N Ishida, C Ogino and A Kondo. 2011. Direct bioethanol production from cellulose by the combination of cellulase-displaying yeast and ionic liquid pretreatment. Green Chemistry http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c1gc15688h.

An innovative process promises to produce bioethanol from plants in one step instead of three, but finding an easy way to purify the needed plant cellulose hinders its usefulness.

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A more efficient way to produce biofuels from plants is possible by pretreating the woody material with a liquid salt before fermentation, report researchers in Japan who perfected the process in the lab. Yet, coming up with the usable, purified cellulose remains a big hurdle to the industry.

This experimental method is unique because it pairs an enzyme-yeast unit with ionic liquids to convert the plants into the liquid fuel known as bioethanol. The successful trial yielded 90 percent ethanol and 82 percent of the ionic liquid was recovered.

The one-step, one-container procedure is outlined in the journal Green Chemistry.

Cellulose is the most abundant renewable material available. Plants, algae and some bacteria produce in excess of 100 billion metric tons per year. The non-food material is an agricultural waste material. The ability to turn the unwanted cellulose into liquid fuel would be an important step toward reducing dependence on crude oil without using food crops.

It takes three steps to convert cellulose into the liquid fuel bioethanol. Step one treats cellulose and turns its rigid and ordered structure into more chemically accessible pieces. In step two, enzymes further break down cellulose into glucose, a sugar. Then, in step three, microorganisms such as yeast ferment the glucose to ethanol.

The new process takes a different approach. The cellulose is broken down with ionic liquids (step 1) then converted into ethanol (steps 2 and 3) with a yeast-enzyme pairing – all in a single pot.

This is a remarkable step forward because the enzyme, yeast and ionic liquid are together but don’t interfere with one another.

Ionic liquids are salts – a designation for chemicals made up of both a positively and a negatively charged component – that are liquid at low temperatures, unlike common salts such as kitchen salt. Bulky positive and negative groups that make up the ionic salts hinder their packing into a solid crystal. Thus, they stay liquid to much lower temperatures – even room temperature. Some ionic liquids have been shown to be good solvents for cellulose, which is otherwise very difficult to dissolve.

In this study, the authors attached cellulase – an enzyme that breaks down cellulose – to the outside of the yeast. By itself, this yeast-cellulase combination is not very effective at tearing apart the rigid and inaccessible cellulose structure. But, a winning recipe was found by combining a small amount of specific ionic liquids with the cellulase-yeast. The ionic liquid disrupts cellulose enough so that ethanol can be produced directly and efficiently from the pieces of cellulose.

This work shows some real promise, but as the authors point out, most cellulose is not pure. To turn biomass directly into bioethanol, this new one-pot process will need to either extract cellulose efficiently or convert the other natural materials that coexist with cellulose in the plants. Read more science at Environmental Health News.

 

Warner Bacock Institute and Elm Street Ventures Launch ‘Occam Sciences’.

The Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry and Elm Street Ventures Establish Occam Sciences to Develop and Commercialize Novel Forms of Existing Medicines
New Haven, CT and Wilmington, MA – The Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry (WBI) and Elm Street Ventures (ESV) have announced today the formation of Occam Sciences in New Haven, CT to develop new forms of existing drugs with optimized bioavailabilty, including oral forms of medicines previously administrable only in a parenteral manner.
”We are delighted to join forces with WBI to develop new forms of already proven drugs that will offer important clinical benefits to patients”, said Rob Bettigole, Managing Partner of ESV. “Occam promises to be one of those rare start-ups that offers multiple bottom lines: better health for patients, improved environmental profile, profits for investors, and jobs for Connecticut and Massachusetts.”
WBI was cofounded in 2007 by Dr. John Warner, one of the founders of the field of Green Chemistry and co-author of Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice, a book that has revolutionized conventional wisdom across all industries touched by the chemical enterprise. Occam Sciences’ development efforts will utilize WBI’s proprietary non-covalent derivatization (NCD) technology to dial in selected physical properties for target drugs.
“We are pleased to have this opportunity to extend WBI’s NCD technology – already successfully commercialized in other industries – into the pharma realm”, said Joe Pont, CEO of WBI. “Our partnership with Elm Street Ventures is ideal given ESV’s deep network in both academic and industrial medical circles.”
Elm Street Ventures is a seed and early stage venture capital fund based in New Haven, Connecticut. An important part of ESV’s efforts is focused on creating and initially operating life sciences companies founded on intellectual property developed at Yale University and other research institutions in the New York City – New England region. Occam Sciences is ESV’s twelfth company. By providing management expertise and early stage capital, ESV catalyzes new company formation, working closely with scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs to build significant technology companies. For more information, visit www.elmvc.com.
The Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry provides innovation solutions and services across all markets and industries, from idea creation through commercial product optimization. WBI is committed to its clients, to society, and to the environment to create technologies and processes that are functional, cost-effective, and environmentally benign. For more information, please visit www.warnerbabcock.com.