May 17, 2020

Recession sees cocaine use fall while legal highs rise

legal highs
drugs
cocaine
recession
Admin
2 min
The use of legal highs has increased in the recession
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction has warned that although the use of some illegal drugs is decreasing or at the least remain...

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction has warned that although the use of some illegal drugs is decreasing or at the least remaining stable, the abuse of ‘legal highs’ is increasing.  

According to the drug agency’s annual report, new types of synthetic ‘clubbing drugs’ are constantly being developed and will be one of the biggest challenges policy makers face in the coming years.

Thirty-nine new drugs have been developed in 2011 alone and are currently being monitored by the European early warning system along with 41 that were developed in 2010.

The organisation has said there is so sign of their use declining and that is unlikely while there are 600 online retailers willing to sell the psychoactive substances, such as mephedrone, to countries across Europe.

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However, in more positive news, the organisation said levels of cocaine usage have reached their peak and may have even entered a phase of decline as the recession bites and people are unable to afford the affluent drug.

The use of ecstasy and amphetamines is also declining and although cannabis remains as the most popularly used drug in Europe, it is thought its use is declining among young people.  

Wolfgang Gotz, Director of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, said eradicating the use of legal highs will be difficult because the drugs industry is so easily adaptable to changing trends and demands.

He said: “This is reflected, not only in the sheer number of new substances appearing on the market, but also in their diversity and in how they are produced, distributed and marketed.

“We need a proactive strategy that allows us to identify new drugs and emerging trends so that we can anticipate their potential implications.”

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Jun 22, 2021

Bachem turns 50 - a timeline

pharma
supplychain
peptides
medication
3 min
As Bachem turns 50, we take a look at the company's history

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."

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