Five minutes with
Mara Guzzetti, Ph.D., Senior Executive Vice President, Head of Fine Chemicals, Valsynthese
Chemistry Today: How is business going for Valsynthese?
Guzzetti: We are strategically positioned in the niche of custom synthesis manufacture, and in particular on hazardous, high-energetic chemistry. Our heritage comes in fact from producing and handling explosives since 150 years, currently a separated business from Valsynthese, within the SSE group. Our market is growing and we also see a trend of some companies moving back technology platforms from Asia to Europe. The Asian market is competitive when we consider large quantities of customer manufactured products. Our technology and competences on explosive or hazardous chemistries is instead hard to find in on the Eastern Market. We like to think we offer Swiss quality!
CT: What kind of unique technical capabilities are you developing?
Guzzetti: We recently opened a phosgenation plant. While phosgenation is relatively common, we are proud of being one of the rare manufacturers capable of doing phosgenation in cGMP, also in small quantities. As a group we are thus moving forward on the pharma side: part of our business is still in fine chemistry, but pharma is what is driving our growth.
CT: I guess this kind of chemistry is also challenging from a regulatory point of view.
Guzzetti: Regulatory aspects are for Valsynthese similar to any other Customer Manufacturer for Fine Chemicals or Pharma dealing with hazardous chemistry. Due to our long historical presence, authorities are familiar with us and they trust us. Our geographical position within a valley is also an asset, giving us an advantage in managing wastewater for example. We collaborate with all level of authorities: Swissmedic, the Canton and the local community on a regular basis.
CT: Does flow chemistry fit well with your technologies?
Guzzetti: We are considering flow chemistry but for the moment not as a regular application: our type of chemistry poses a lot of challenges. We already do something a little in flow, and it can surely be a future strategy.
CT: What does Valsynthese offer that no one else can do?
Guzzetti: As it often happens here in Switzerland, we offer a long history and a deep know-how from a tradition older than a century. This know-how allows us to offer value on very unique and dangerous chemistries, accessing faster synthetic routes. We are also fast to react, flexible and able to work easily from small quantities to tons.