Saltigo Realigns Strategy

18.10.2012 -

Saltigo, the custom manufacturing business of Lanxess' Advanced Intermediates segment, which achieved total sales of €1.5 billion in 2011, has realigned its strategy. The company says it will focus its future activities primarily on three areas, i.e. the global expansion of the agrochemicals segment, the active development of attractive phase III projects in the pharmaceuticals sector, and the strengthening of the business with non-exclusively manufactured, multi-customer products. "We are currently in the face of repositioning Saltigo more towards Agro and Fine Chemicals", explained Wolfgang Schmitz, Saltigo's Managing Director.

A large proportion of Saltigo's activities is already devoted to the agrochemicals business. "Driven by the megatrend agriculture, we see greater growth opportunities in this area", said Schmitz.
According to Schmitz, the pharmaceutical market is characterized by market consolidations, the replacement of original preparations by generics, a shrinking number of new product licenses and rising research costs.

As part of the realignment, in July 2012 the company already closed its U.S. pharma custom manufacturing site in Redmond near Seattle, Washington, whose set-up with a small-volume unit and pilot plant was designed for Phase I and II. Schmitz stressed: "While in the past we have supported all stages of the product development pipeline with our offerings and resources, we want to dedicate ourselves more strongly in the future to the later development phases." This means that Saltigo will concentrate on active ingredients for drugs that have already been granted regulatory approval and for clinical studies of Phase III instead of active ingredients for early clinical tests. Saltigo announced plans last year to build a new production plant for highly potent active pharmaceutical ingredients (HPAPI) at the Redmond site. But this project has been abandoned. Saltigo currently operates production facilities in Leverkusen and Dormagen, Germany.

Profitable and sustainable growth on a global basis will remain unchanged the central strategic objective of the company. To achieve this, Saltigo will continue to attach importance to a high level of flexibility in the deployment of its intellectual and technical resources and to the ongoing optimization of its services. "Our project management, for example, is valued highly worldwide. What helps as well is our ability to reliably achieve the ambitious targets of our customers, such as sustainably shortening product development, thus creating value added," said Joerg Schneider, Head of Marketing. For this purpose, Saltigo has access to flexibly configurable production capacities of around 2,500 cubic meters in total.

Talking about the general market situation, Schneider added that it has developed positively this year. "As one of the leading suppliers of exclusive synthesis services we have been able to initiate a large number of new project partnerships on the basis of our longstanding experience and extensive technology portfolio. I am convinced that this trend will continue", he said.

It is in the pharmaceutical sector in particular that Saltigo aims to highlight the value added aspect more strongly in the future. "While in the past we have supported all stages of the product development pipeline with our offerings and resources, in the future we want to dedicate ourselves more strongly to the later development phases," stated Tony Jones, head of the newly established Fine Chemicals (FCH) marketing unit at Saltigo. Jones sees such projects in the direct environment of the commercial product use to be an outstanding opportunity to bring the value-creating expertise of his company more efficiently to the table by way of cooperative partnerships.

Speaking about the global strategy of his company, Schmitz said that Asia is becoming more important: "The increasing market globalization and the growth markets of Asia offer excellent prospects for Saltigo. Especially in the agricultural segment, where we already hold an excellent market position, we intend to establish ourselves as a global development and project partner. In conjunction with our agricultural customers, it is important to face up to the challenges of the future, which include an ever-growing world population, mounting food shortages in many parts of the world, a rising demand for renewable raw materials for industry, and mobility. Against the backdrop of these and other mega-trends, I see attractive development potential for Saltigo wherever innovative strength, know-how, flexibility and reliability are considered key customer expectations."

In Japan, well-known for its commitment to new technologies and innovative products, Saltigo already enjoys a good level of business activity across all market sectors, especially crop protection, pharmaceuticals, specialty chemicals, and others serving the life science industries.