Five minutes with Rolf Rolli, Director of Business Development, Biosynth – DCAT Week ‘18
PH: Who are Biosynth and what are its key capabilities for the pharmaceutical industry?
Rolli: We are a diversified life science company located in north-eastern Switzerland, serving the diagnostics, pharmaceuticals and biochemistry research industries. Most of our capacity is used to manufacture products for our portfolio, so we are not a classic CMO but we have a portfolio of services that we can offer to clients. For pharma, our company is very strong in complex chemistries, like carbohydrate chemistry and asymmetric synthesis, so we can make complex molecules for innovators.
PH: What investments have there been in the past year or so to expand your capacities and capabilities?
Rolli: We have just invested in a new multi-purpose, state-of-the-art GMP plant – it was finished at the end of last year and we are currently transferring the products of our existing GMP plant there. It has two 100 litre reactors, allowing us to make 8-10 kilo batches, which might be complex products, orphan drugs or early phase compounds.
PH: Are there any other technologies or capabilities you would like to highlight?
Rolli: We are expanding our capabilities at the moment. For example, we have just installed a large-scale thin film distillation capacity and we have a customer project with extremely difficult separation issues, so we have just bought a tubular centrifuge of the kind that might be used to separate uranium for enrichment. Last year, we bought a new 400 MHz NMR. Any further investments will probably depend on specific projects. Other core technologies include hydrogenation, multi-stage short path distillation, lyophilisation, GMP micronisation and process development in general, among others.
PH: Are you here in New York to look for potential customers for this new plant?
Rolli: Correct. This is my second time coming to DCAT Week and we have enlarged our contacts with the pharma industry while we have been here. Historically we have had some of the larger companies on the diagnostic side as customers and now we are looking more on the pharma side.
PH: And how is business for you at the moment?
Rolli: Very good. The company is growing at double digits and we invest in capabilities, personnel and relationships across the world.
PH: Can you give some examples?
Rolli: Last year, we also invested in acquiring a company in Slovakia, which is now a 100% subsidiary of Biosynth. We have now modernised the plant there to bring it up to modern standards and hired new people. In China, we have an office in Wuxi that connects with suppliers as we have quite a large demand for intermediates in China, like everyone else. We also QC the products in China before they are shipped to Switzerland. As we sell product in China too, the office is also a liaison to distributors there, as well as to diagnostic companies.