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BIO Congratulates Members for Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards

June 12, 2017

Washington, D.C. (June 12, 2017) – The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) today congratulated member companies Merck & Co., Inc., Amgen Inc., and Dow Chemical Company for receiving 2017 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. The awards, given by the EPA, recognize company innovation and biotechnology’s contribution to reducing pollution.

“We are thrilled to congratulate Merck & Co., Inc., Amgen Inc., and Dow Chemical Company for their innovative work using biotechnology to reduce pollution,” said Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of BIO. “BIO’s members are on the cutting edge of technology, developing products that help heal, feed and fuel the world – and reducing environmental impact at the same time.”

Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards have been issued by the Environmental Protection Agency each year since 1996. Of the 114 annual awards given, 40 have been given to biotechnology and biobased applications. For more information, visit

Merck Research Laboratories in Rahway, New Jersey, is being recognized for successfully applying green chemistry design principles to Letermovir, an antiviral drug candidate that is currently in phase III clinical trials. The improvements to the way the drug is made, including use of a better chemical catalyst, increases the overall yield by more than 60%, reduces raw material costs by 93%, and reduces water usage by 90%.

Amgen Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is being recognized in partnership with Bachem, Switzerland, for improving the process used to manufacture the active ingredient in Parsabiv™, a drug for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism in adult patients with chronic kidney disease. This improved peptide manufacturing process reduces chemical solvent use by 71%, manufacturing operating time by 56%, and manufacturing cost by 76%. These innovations could reduce costs and eliminate 1,440 cubic meters of waste or more, including over 750 cubic meters of aqueous waste annually.

Dow Chemical Company in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, is being recognized in partnership with Papierfabrik August Koehler SE, Germany, for developing a thermal printing paper that eliminates the need for chemicals, such as bisphenol A (BPA) or bisphenol S (BPS), used to create an image. Thermal paper is used broadly throughout the world for cash register receipts, tickets, tags, and labels. This technology reduces costs by creating records that do not fade, even under severe sunlight, allowing the original document to be preserved for long term storage. The paper is compatible with thermal printers currently in commercial use around the world.

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