ST. LOUIS, Nov. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (NASDAQ: SIAL) today announced that SAFC ® Commercial ( www.sigma-aldrich.com/safc), its custom manufacturing services business unit, has entered into a services agreement with CatScI Ltd. ( www.catsci.com), a UK-based catalysis company focused on maximizing yield, optimizing quality, reducing waste and minimizing chemical development costs through reaction understanding. SAFC customers will immediately benefit from the relationship through rapid access to new reactions, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, biocatalysts, solvent selection and process development, in addition to metal removal, recovery and recycling services. "The strategic partnership combines CatScI's extensive expertise in catalyzed reactions and complex chemical processes with SAFC's strength in process development, scale-up and manufacturing of high-value products," said Andreas Weiler, Head of Global Strategic Marketing for Contract Manufacturing Services & Solutions at SAFC. "As a combined offering, we are able to provide customers a single source for high-quality, high-value fundamental research, development, scale-up and manufacture, with additional process development resources for customers to screen projects more quickly, and efficiently maximize catalyst reactions using the appropriate ligands, solvents and science." "The level of collaboration builds naturally on each company's strong foundation. CatScI's technology platform and methodology is differentiated to provide unique research and development in a cost- and time-efficient manner. Customers can take advantage of our expertise in both chemo- and bio-catalysis for the suggestion, screening, selection, development and optimization of reactions and processes. In essence, we provide innovative solutions to all types of challenging synthetic chemistry problems," said Simon Tyler, Commercial Director at CatScI Ltd. The importance of catalysis to the pharmaceutical industry has steadily grown over the past two decades due to several interrelated factors: increasing regulatory requirements such as policies on single-enantiomer drugs and environmental protection; the pressure to reduce drug development cost and time; and the continued discovery of new practical catalysts from both academia and industry. Approximately 90 percent of chemicals now require the use of catalytic processes in their manufacture. With chemical targets becoming more complex and the average number of transformations required to synthesize an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) continuing to climb and currently averaging 12 synthetic steps, industrial chemists look increasingly to employ catalysis to achieve concise and economical processes in R&D and production.