Europe's largest hygiene research center opens
A research centre for hygiene and infection prevention has relaunched in the north of France, with double the size and capacity to develop initiatives to combat infection.
Ecolab, a provider of water, hygiene and infection prevention services and its subsidiary Laboratoires Anios, inaugurated the expansion of the Luce Letartre Research Center in Sainghin-en-Mélantois, near Lille.
It now has 2,000 square metres and dual GLP and ISO 17025 certifications. Equipped with the latest technology, the research center will be able to develop hygiene and infection prevention products to fight infections in a healthcare setting and demonstrate the effectiveness of all types of bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeasts and other emerging microorganisms that could be present in a hospital environment.
Additionally, the Ecolab-Anios facility is the only research center in Europe to integrate dedicated labs for chemistry formulation, microbiology, analytical chemistry and virology, the latest addition to the group’s capabilities.
Among the high profile guests at the opening were French Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness Franck Riester, and Minister for Industry Agnès Pannier-Runacher.
"Ecolab has a longlasting and widespread presence in France, and this investment shows that its confidence in the French economy remains very high" Riester said. "International investors trust in France, because our pro-business agenda is clear, and remains so. The France Relance recovery plan supports this strategy, supporting and transforming our economy towards a green, competitive and sustainable model."
First built in 2012, the newly expanded centre aims to develop and test the effectiveness of new disinfectant formulations on infection-causing microorganisms. With its increased capacity, the 37 employees at the facility will be able to conduct more than 22,000 tests per year and provide robust data as companies pursue product registrations in multiple countries.
The centre's expansion comes at a time when COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of effective hygiene measures. To support healthcare facilities in their fight against the virus, Ecolab and Anios have significantly increased the production of infection prevention products, such as the alcohol-based hand rub Aniosgel. The site has been operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week since February 2020, doubling output of the hand gel to supply the French market and other areas throughout the world.
Chafik Hilal, general manager of Ecolab Europe’s Healthcare division, added: "This Center of Excellence has capacity and capabilities that are unmatched in Europe. This expansion supports our growth ambitions combining the scientific and commercial expertise of Ecolab and Anios to help hospitals eradicate healthcare-acquired-infections (HAIs) and protect public health. HAIs are responsible for 37,000 deaths each year in Europe.
Bachem turns 50 - a timeline
Bachem, a supplier to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month. We take a look at the Swiss company's history.
1971 - beginnings
Bachem is founded by entrepreneur Peter Grogg in Liestal, a small town near Basel in Switzerland. Grogg started the firm with just two employees, and with a focus on peptide synthesis - peptides are composed of amino acids that have a variety of functions treating health conditions such as cancer and diabetes.
1977 - 1981 - early growth
Bachem moves its headquarters to the Swiss town of Bubendorf, with eight employees. In 1978 the company produces peptides for use in medicines for the first time. In 1981 production capacity triples and the workforce grows to 150.
1987 - 1996 - worldwide expansion
The company expands into the US with Bachem Bioscience, Inc. in Philadelphia. To strengthen its presence in Europe, Bachem opens sales and marketing centres in Germany in 1988.
Further sales centres open in France in 1993. By 1995 the company employs 190 people. In 1996 it acquires the second largest manufacturer of peptides in the world and forms Bachem California with a site in Torrance.
1998 - 2003 - Bachem goes public
Bachem company goes public and lists shares on the Swiss Stock Exchange. Further acquisitions include Peninsula Laboratories, Inc, based in California, and Sochinaz SA, a Swiss-based manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients. By 2001, the company has 500 employees and sales reach 141 million CHF.
In 2003 the organisation is given a new legal holding structure to support its continued growth, which remains in place to this day.
2007 - 2013 - acquisitions
Bachem acquires a brand by Merck Biosciences for ready-to-use clinical trial materials and related services.
In 2013, together with GlyTech, Inc. Bachem announces the development of a new amino acid that can help to treat multiple sclerosis, with a world market of more than $4 billion.
In 2015 it acquires the American Peptide Company (APC), which becomes integrated into Bachem Americas.
2016 - 2019 - a global leader
In 2016 the group opens a new building dedicated to R&D projects and small series production in Bubendorf. With a total of 1,022 employees, the workforce exceeds the 1,000 mark for the first time in the company’s history. Sales are over the 200 million mark for the first time at 236.5 million CHF.
Bachem expands into Asia with the establishment of a new company in Tokyo called Bachem Japan K.K.
By 2019 Bachem has a growing oligonucleotide portfolio - these are DNA molecules used in genetic testing, research, and forensics. It is hoped this will become a significant product range in the future.
2020 - COVID-19
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Bachem secures its supply of active ingredients, and even increases it in critical areas. Sales exceed the 400 million Swiss franc mark for the first time, and 272 new employees are hired.
2021 - a milestone anniversary
Bachem celebrates its 50th anniversary and position as a global leader in the manufacture of peptides. While it remains headquartered in Bubendorf, the company employs 1,500 people at six locations worldwide. In the next five years there are plans to continue expanding.
Commemorating the company's anniversary, Kuno Sommer, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said: "Bachem's exceptional success story from a small laboratory to a global market leader is closely linked to Peter Grogg's values, and has been shaped by innovation, consistent quality and cost awareness, as well as by entrepreneurial vision."