May 17, 2020

Sanofi invests $75mn to launch a new R&D hub in Chengdu, China

China
pharmaceutical
pharmaceutical
China
Catherine Sturman
2 min
Pharmaceutical company Sanofi is set to invest up to $75mn to establish a new, global R&D operations hub in Chengdu, China, in order to further expa...

Pharmaceutical company Sanofi is set to invest up to $75mn to establish a new, global R&D operations hub in Chengdu, China, in order to further expand its presence in the country. It will join the company’s China R&D Centre and the Asia-Pacific R&D Centre in Shanghai.

Focused on digitalisation and big data analysis, the hub confirms China as the third pillar of Sanofi Global Clinical Sciences and Operations, joining facilities in France and the US.

Second only to the US, China is the world’s second largest market for drug development, spending up to $122.6bn in 2017. The hub will work alongside Sanofi’s other two hubs in the country, and coordinate with its France and US to support the clinical research and development of innovative drugs by focusing on the management of global multi-centre clinical trials data and files.

Set to become fully operational by 2020, the hub will provide a huge opportunity, not only to drive up employment figures, but also bolster its efforts within the pharmaceutical industry.

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China is rapidly becoming a key player within the sector, where it has recently worked to transform its regulations to speed up drug development. Bringing together global data and analysis, the Hub will accelerate the availability of trial results, from Phase I to Phase IV. The Hub will take advantage of local talents to further strengthen Sanofi's digital capabilities.

"Through this new hub, we will take full advantage of our global experience and R&D capabilities together with local scientific research strengths to further improve innovation," said Zhang Ji, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Global Head of Sanofi R&D Operations. 

"Our goal is to link China's innovative achievements with the global ecosystem and develop innovative drugs in China that could benefit patients around the world."

The Chengdu hub will target diseases that have the most impact: diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, vaccines, oncology, immunology and inflammation, rare diseases, multiple sclerosis and neurology.

Leveraging global cutting-edge biological technology for polypeptides, gene therapy, monoclonal antibodies and multi-specific antibodies, the hub will recruit 300 local pharmaceutical research and development professionals.

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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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