Five Minutes with
Christoph Klaus, COO and Xavier Jeanjean, Director Sales & Marketing, CU Chemie Uetikon GmbH
Chemistry Today: How is business going and what is mostly driving growth?
Christoph Klaus: The business situation is extremely positive. Economy is going very well. Our product portfolio includes fine chemicals, pharma intermediates and pharma APIs. In the life science industry, growth in general is about 5-10%
Xavier Jeanjean: Sales increased 20% compared to last year.
Christoph: We believe we are outpacing the market a bit. Custom synthesis is one of the best parts of our business. But we are growing surprisingly well also in the non-pharma sector. People look at us when they need reliability, scalability, trustworthiness in the special chemistry.
CT: What is your technological advantage?
Xavier Jeanjean: Everybody likes to say “we can do everything”, but I will not say that. We have very specific capabilities, such as high-pressure hydrogenation reactions under 100 bars under GMP conditions, that are pretty unique, from medium to large size. This is supported by our know-how, since we have decades of experience. We also have good resources in the project management: we combine creativity from the French side and reliability from the German and Swiss side of the company. That is a good combination.
CT: Speaking of location, it seems that most of your market is concentrated in US and Europe. Are you thinking to expand in other locations?
Christoph Klaus: This year probably the higher growth will be in Asia. But it will be easy, because it was not high from start. We decided to go in Asia since some time, we are building a stable presence, visiting customers. And now it is bringing back some good revenue. But our biggest market continues to be the US, thanks to the biotech companies that look for the integrated services that we are providing.
CT: Flow chemistry: what is your approach?
Christoph Klaus: We are not using it. I strongly believe it is very interesting for pharma, especially for advanced intermediates. We do not know if we will go there ourselves, however.
Xavier Jeanjean: I studied thirty years ago and at the time I was already learning about flow chemistry. My belief is that the time is right just now, since the technology is stable. Now controllers and sensors are cheap, and you can put them to use in the industrial scale. So, we are looking at it and we wait for the right chance and the right partner.
CT: What does make Uetikon unique?
Xavier Jeanjean: We are fast, agile, customer-focused, extremely transparent and reliable.
Christoph Klaus: I agree of course with that. At the end, the real difference is the people, on top of the technology. Connecting the brains together, with passion.