Late last week the German giant announced the formation of BASF Pharma SA, combining the Orgamol Pharma Solutions and Fine Chemicals businesses that it operates in the Evionnaz municipality in south-west of the country.
The move follows the formal renaming of BASF Orgamol Pharma Solutions SA and its sister subsidiary in Saint-Vulbas, France as BASF Pharma at the end of April and, more recently, BASF’s move for fellow chemicals firm Cognis.
The BASF Pharma SA unit will make APIs and intermediates to support early-stage clinical development projects, commercial launch and, according to BASF, subsequent production of generic products when the drug in question goes of patent.
The merger, as president of the new unit Martin Widmann said, is part of BASF’s streamlining of its manufacturing profile and efforts to reduce complexity across its entire operation.
“The renaming of both companies is part of our strategy of becoming more customer-centric as a supplier and partner to the pharmaceutical industry” he explained, adding that it will also enhance the firm’s “market visibility.”
BASF’s desire to increase its market visibility gives some indication of the growing level of competition in the fine chemicals sector at the moment, given that the German firm was already acknowledged as the largest chemicals company in the world even before it agreed to buy Cognis.
This competition is coming from the manufacturing industry in low cost regions, which is attractive to pharma firm’s keen to reduce costs. Another factor is the growth of the contract manufacturing sector, which is seeing the emergence of non-traditional chemicals suppliers.
BASF is not expected to make any workforce cutbacks as a result of the merger of the two Swiss units and has confirmed that existing manufacturing contracts, delivery timelines and customer relationships will not be impacted by the move.