Roquette Plans €25 Million Polyols Project

28.03.2022 - French firm Roquette has announced plans to spend €25 million to upgrade its liquid and powder polyols plant in Lestrem between 2022 and 2024. Roquette said the investment will strengthen its position as a leader in polyols and establish a strong reliable supply in the long term.

According to the firm, the Lestrem site is the largest polyol plant in the world, offering a wide variety of products. The project will make equipment more efficient and increase safety standards, as well as helping to standardize some industrial operations and contributing to an overall improvement in production performance.

Roquette noted that polyols produced from plant-based raw materials, such as maize or wheat, are principally used as sugar replacements in food and confectionery, and demand for healthier and sustainable nutrition is increasing dramatically. 

Polyols are also key pharmaceutical excipients in oral dosage forms. Directly compressible, polyols help the formulation of all types of tablets, and the higher purity grades are also APIs and widely used in injectable solutions or in dialysis applications. Additionally, polyols are essential ingredients in oral-care applications.

Last December, Roquette said it was planning to open a new Innovation Center in Pennsylvania, USA, to further the advancement of prescription drugs and better serve its global customers by working closely with its specialist pharmaceutical teams at sister sites in France and Singapore. Together, said Roquette, they aim to advance the research of drug delivery systems for oral prescription drugs and nutraceutical APIs, while improving speed to market.

The center, to cost $25 million and employ approximately 30 people, will host an Applied Sciences facility, focusing on the research of excipients for oral dosage forms, drug delivery systems, nutraceutical APIs and innovative pharmaceutical ingredients. It will sit alongside its Customer Technical Services laboratory, to enable a deeper level of collaboration with customers formulating drugs in new product pipelines. 

CEO Pierre Courduroux commented: 45% of drugs developed globally come from the US. Expanding our operations in this market is therefore key to achieving Roquette’s strong growth ambitions for its pharma business. The facility is scheduled to open this summer.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist