zuChem Receives SBIR Awards from the National Institutes of Health

Novel Technologies Used to More Cost-effectively Produce Key Rare Sugar Intermediates

Chicago, IL (December 2, 2014) – zuChem Inc., an innovative supplier of glycochemicals and specialized sugars for the food ingredients, fine chemicals and related industries, today announced that it has been awarded two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants totaling over $1.25MM by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the development of new technologies to make activated sugars – key building blocks that enable the discovery of new anti-infective and anticancer drugs, as well as the production of important complex glycans such as human milk oligosaccharides.

The Company was awarded a Phase II SBIR on the production of activated TDP-deoxysugars. The award (of approximately $1.1MM) will be used to support zuChem’s continued development of a novel, proprietary system to produce at commercial scale pharmaceutically-relevant activated TDP-deoxysugars that cannot otherwise be made or are currently prohibitively expensive to produce. Activated TDP-sugars are key reagents necessary for the linking of sugars to other molecules and enable the generation of diverse arrays of novel sugar-based chemicals for many applications, including drug discovery and development.

The Company was also awarded a Phase I SBIR from the NIH on the production of activated hexosamines used by zuChem for the production of important oligosaccharides, including human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs). HMOs are key components of human breast milk, but have been difficult to source for study to better understand their role in infant immune and cognitive development.

“We are very pleased that the NIH has recognized the innovative nature of our technology and the significant chemistry bottleneck that the availability of these novel reagents will relieve”, stated David Demirjian, Ph.D., President and CEO, zuChem. “We are finding that our ability to creatively accelerate the development of novel rare sugar reagents is critical to enabling pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to move forward with the discovery and development of new therapeutic agents and nutritionals.”

zuChem, Inc., headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, focuses on commercializing innovative manufacturing processes for unique glycochemicals (varieties of specialized sugars) for the pharmaceutical and specialty chemicals industries. Glycochemicals are key components of many antibiotics, anticancer and antiviral drugs as well as many specialty food ingredients. Please visit or contact for more information.