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CABB : ChemCreations develops production processes for complex molecules and accelerates the commercialization of themqrcode

Jul. 10, 2018

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Jul. 10, 2018
Editor’s Note: “Under our new ChemCreations brand, we are now offering complete process development as a separate service, from researching and evaluating theoretically possible options via development of the optimum synthetic pathway up to and including pilot testing,” said Dr. Thomas Eizenhöfer, general manager of The CABB Group’s Custom Manufacturing Business Unit, in a recent interview with AgroPages. He also shared his views on the competitive strength, business model and potential challenges of new ChemCreations brand, as well as future development prospect etc.

Q1. What was the original intention/starting point for launching the ChemCreations brand? Why is CABB launching it at this specific time? Could you give us some details? Also, could you share more information about the agrochemicals business?
The CABB Group has a long history of custom manufacturing for leading global companies particularly in the agrochemical and pharmaceutical sectors.

One of our core skills applied in these custom manufacturing projects is the ability to develop, safely control and continuously optimize chemical processes. As a result, we have a lot of experience in process-related matters such as risk assessments, managing waste streams, improving yields to mention only a few.

However, such development has always been carried out in the context of commercial contract syntheses where our central focus is on supplying our customers with specific precursors,  intermediates and the final active ingredients.

Under our new ChemCreations brand, we are now offering complete process development as a separate service, from researching and evaluating theoretically possible options via development of the optimum synthetic pathway up to and including pilot testing.

A key motive for this new offering is the fact that the agrochemical innovators, in particular, have to develop increasingly complex molecules as a result of increasing levels of resistance on the one hand and ever stricter regulation on the other. More complex molecules mean more complex synthesis processes.

We are aware from many conversations with our customers and market experts that these companies are seriously considering involving external partners such as CABB earlier and more closely in their own process development.   

Q2. What’s your company’s competitive strength? What are the differences between ChemCreations and other agrochemical CMOs like Lonza, Saltigo, Briar Chemicals etc.?
I think there are a couple of factors that differentiate CABB in the custom manufacturing business.

One certainly is the depth of our customer relationships, which in some cases have existed literally for decades. This wouldn’t be possible without a very high level of flexibility, responsiveness and reliability in cooperating with these leading firms. Just a few weeks ago, we once again won an award from one customer for the quality of our overall business relationship.
Secondly, I believe our technical set-up and skill set aren’t too easy to match. We have two complementary world-class assets in Finland and Switzerland. These include, for example, a “Verbund” system, a dedicated pilot line and an extremely energy-efficient chlorine electrolysis unit.

In terms of skills, CABB has extensive experience in continuous process optimization and in improving aspects such as cost and waste, and we are able to handle a broad range of demanding chemical technologies.

ChemCreations, as a new and additional offering within our custom manufacturing business unit, now builds on all these strengths, expanding our range of services in response to a particular customer need for the more complex processes that I’ve just described.
Q3. Who is your target client in the field of agrochemicals ? What’s the business model?
The essence of our new service offer under the ChemCreations brand is to support innovators in the agrochemical sector in developing the ideal process for synthesizing a specific molecule.

In a nutshell, a customer describes a target molecule and CABB, working in close collaboration with the customer, then develops the optimum synthetic pathway.

This pathway might be a customization of a known process or a completely new approach, but the outcome will be a proven, reliable, sustainable and efficient process. If the customer would like, we would then be happy to convert this process into commercial manufacture, but there is no requirement to do so.
Q4. What potential challenges do you see in the course of operation of ChemCreations?
Prior to, and following the launch of ChemCreations in early June, we’ve had enormously positive feedback and we’ve been able to secure a number of concrete assignments already.

The challenge now, which we’re putting huge effort into, is to ensure we’ve got the right resources in place to deliver on those assignments with the level of quality and reliability that our customers are used to from traditional customer manufacturing projects.
Q5. What’s your view on the market landscape/scenario of global agchem CMO industry? What are the major driving forces and its growth prospects over the coming years? What are the challenges to market growth?
The agchem market has been through an extraordinarily long phase of weakness, driven – among other factors – by low crop prices and lower spending by farmers on crop protection products as a consequence.

However, a number of signs are now pointing towards a return to normal market conditions, so we expect moderate but stable growth in the mid-term.

When looking at the agchem industry in general, the single most important factor remains the growth in world population and the related challenge of feeding all these people. Given the parallel decrease in global agricultural area, the only feasible way of securing enough food is a higher yield per acre, which in turn will only be possible on the basis of innovative, ever more efficient and effective crop protection technology.

I firmly believe that CMOs like us can play a pivotal role in making this innovation happen.   

If you are also the player in the industry of agrochemical CMO and would like to share your insights/promote your service, pls contact us via: grace@agropages.com

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