I am studying the synthesis of a drug pregabalin, for which both chemical and bio-catalysts are used. Using a biocatalyst is way better than chemical route, as explained here. In fact, The invention of the bio-catalyst route got 2006 IchemE award in Green Chemistry and Engineering.

I am interested in knowing is this: are there any disadvantages of using bio-catalysis in this reaction? (Some general disadvantages can be seen here) Suppose you are in a debate and you have to favor the chemical side, what would be your arguments?

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    $\begingroup$ Most enzymes work in aqueous solutions, so if your starting material or product is poorly soluble in water, it might not get into or out of the enzyme. Enzymes are also temperature sensitive, so if you have to heat the reaction for any reason you could destroy enzyme activity. Additionally, enzymes can be difficult and expensive to produce in large quantities. But these are general issues with enzymes, I don't know about any specific to pregabolin synthesis. But if Pfizer adapted the enzymatic approach they must have control over these issues. $\endgroup$ – user137 Nov 20 '14 at 20:34

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