May 17, 2020

Zackary Kimotho to raise £2m for spinal injury rehabilitation unit

spinal injury
spinal injury rehabilitation uni
2 min
Zackary Kimotho pushes himself across Africa
Kenya-based Zackary Kimotho has been using a wheelchair since he was shot in a car-jacking about eight years ago. Zackary is one of thousands of Kenyan...

Kenya-based Zackary Kimotho has been using a wheelchair since he was shot in a car-jacking about eight years ago. Zackary is one of thousands of Kenyans who is suffering from spinal injury as at present there is no specialist care available in the country.

Now, Zackary Kimotho is trying to raise nearly £2m to build the spinal injury rehabilitation unit in Nairobi, the first in East Africa. To do this, he has started pushing himself across Africa, from the Kenyan capital Nairobi to South Africa where the nearest spinal unit is.

Matthew Pinsent met him as he approached the Kenya-Tanzania border at which point he had covered more than 100 miles and had still had more than 2,000 remaining.   

According to the news reports, Zack’s journey has stopped near the Tanzanian border while he is awaiting the renewal of the fundraising license.

Zackary Kimotho was born in 1968 at Kigumo division in Murang’s country. He attended Karninga primary school and also attended Nyeri High school for his ordinary level education until 1988.

Bring Zack Back Home is the fund-raising initiative that is aimed to raise Kenyan Shillings 250 million to build the spinal injury treatment center in Kenya that can accommodate up to 75,000 spinal injury victims. This fund-raising initiative was launched by local charity Kenyan Paraplegic Organization which works to help people living with serious injuries of spinal cord injury in Kenya.

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Jun 22, 2021

Bachem turns 50 - a timeline

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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