Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. has received a $50,000 smallbusiness innovation research grant from the National ScienceFoundation for its work on cross-linked, crystalized enzymes(CLECs) as organic catalysts.

The Cambridge, Mass., company developed the technology as aspinoff from its rational drug design efforts, said RichardAldrich, vice president of business development. The stabilizedcrystals are expected to perform as biosensors and as potentialhuman therapeutics, as well as industrial catalysts.

The SBIR grant will allow development of CLECs as laboratoryreagents, and potentially as industrial catalysts. A previousSBIR funded work with CLECs as biosensors, for instance inmonitoring fermentation, an application that is still in an earlystage of development, Aldrich said.

Vertex shares (NASDAQ:VRTX) closed at $14, down 75 cents.

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