Markets & Companies

Never Compromise

FeF Chemicals, supplier of high-quality pharma ingredients, rebrands as Novo Nordisk Pharmatech

04.04.2016 -

FeF Chemicals is a well-known name and a leading global supplier of ingredients for the pharmaceutical industry. Having been a part of the Danish healthcare corporation Novo Nordisk for almost 30 years, the company’s name was changed to Novo Nordisk Pharmatech on 1 September 2015. Michael Reubold asked Rasmus Hother le Fevre, who has been with Novo Nordisk since the year 2000 and FeF Chemicals’ managing director & corporate vice president since 2012, about the re-branding and his strategy for further developing the company under the new name.

CHEManager: FeF Chemicals has come a long way to become Novo Nordisk Pharmatech. What have been the key developments in the past years that led to the transformation?

R. H. Le Fevre: Novo Nordisk Pharmatech was established in 1949 as FeF Chemicals, acquired by Novo Nordisk in 1986, and has been part of the company since then. For the past ten years we have moved toward becoming a full-fledged pharmaceutical company and changed our product offerings, a transition that is finally completed. It was our wish to find a name that mirrors our focus and future aspirations. Our new name reflects the connection to our parent company, Novo Nordisk, and at the same time it reflects our business focus on the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries. I am very proud to be able to say that we are a leading worldwide supplier of high quality ingredients for the biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical industries. We manufacture and supply products such as recombinant insulin for cell growth media and pharmaceutical-grade quaternary ammonium compounds – Quats – for the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries.

How does the rebranding change your market approach?

R. H. Le Fevre: We have spent the past two decades slowly transforming the company from a fine chemical company into a pharma company, discontinuing all non-pharma products. Now we are a fully focused pharma company, the name FeF chemicals didn’t really match what we were doing. And since we are owned by Novo Nordisk, it was natural to adopt part of the parent company into our new name – Novo Nordisk Pharmatech. Our focus on the pharmaceutical industry is supported by a comprehensive regulatory package, products that meet all cGMP requirements as well as requirements from authorities.

Which pharma/biopharma market trends do you see as most important or influential for your business?

R. H. Le Fevre: Big legislative and regulatory changes are coming to the industry. There is an increased in regulatory expectations from Innovators and Generics to be able to guarantee patient safety due to today’s expanding global market.

We aims to be the best supplier of pharmaceutical ingredients by providing excellence at every step of the supply chain – beginning with a consistent high quality of our products, ensuring continuous availability and a secure global supply chain, to an extensive regulatory documentation living up to the highest available standards. By delivering excellence at every step, we help our customers do the same – whether they’re developing a cure for cancer or a new ophthalmic. We deliver a proven record of product purity, reliability and consistency and can even tailor products for future therapies. We help keep development on track and production flowing for hospitals and patients.

The pharmaceutical/healthcare markets are under cost pressure, highly regulated and constantly transforming. Which are the biggest challenges for suppliers to these markets?

R. H. Le Fevre: Patients need affordable medicines that are of high quality. As a supplier this can be achieved by having manufacturing processes in complete control with no variation. When this is achieved, the cost will also be competitive. We must never compromise the quality of our products, and by pursuing zero defects we obtain high quality and low cost at the same time.

What are the key technologies and key differentiators to position the company in the market?

R. H. Le Fevre: We have been on the market for since 1949; we have many years’ experience and know what challenges our customers face in a fast growing market. Our customers are assured the highest quality and regulatory standards in the market and we will continue to match and outperform the market as required. We also draw upon Novo Nordisk’s 90 years of experience within the biopharmaceutical industry and access to a large number of in-house specialists who can assist with advice, even from early product development stages. This makes us a reliable partner to provide exactly the right quality ingredients for a range of biologic application needs.

Do you have plans to invest into new capacities or technologies, expand your product range or enter new market segments?

R. H. Le Fevre: We will listen to our customers and the market and develop the business as required. In the past we have been able to customize products for specific needs and we have maintained this capability. We have a very proud heritage in Denmark and have extremely capable people within the organization. As the business increases, our focus may require further expansion so we can serve the market appropriately. I have the privilege working with some of the best people in the market, and we will continue building on this heritage.

What are your goals and your strategy for facilitating the future growth of the company?

R. H. Le Fevre: Our primary focus is to support and develop new products that are of benefit to Novo Nordisk and further expand the usage of our current product portfolio. We have adequate capacity for further expansion, a sound pharmaceutical environment in Denmark with good access to a skilled workforce. All these factors are important levers to facilitate further growth.


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