Chal­leng­ing chem­istry in phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing

EME Outlook - - Front Page - Writer: Phoebe Calver | Project Man­ager: Thomas Arnold

tart­ing with a fun­da­men­tal ded­i­ca­tion to fine chem­i­cal devel­op­ment, the Minafin Group was es­tab­lished in 2004 with a small team of de­voted in­di­vid­u­als who have gone onto build a true suc­cess story in the in­dus­try.

Ini­tially the Group set out to solely pro­duce fine chem­i­cals for the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal mar­ket, how­ever, over the years it has ex­panded its ef­forts into cos­met­ics and high-tech ap­pli­ca­tions to meet the ever-chang­ing re­quire­ments it is faced with.

“The in­dus­try has changed dra­mat­i­cally in the 15 years that we have been in op­er­a­tion,” ex­plains Fred­eric Gauchet, the founder and Group Pres­i­dent of Minafin. “Our cus­tomers are con­tin­u­ously vary­ing, and we need to be adapt­able to meet their needs as quickly as pos­si­ble, while match­ing the evo­lu­tion of our cus­tomer base.

“In or­der to meet these needs, we have upped the qual­i­fi­ca­tions and com­pe­ten­cies of peo­ple avail­able to make the en­tire process a suc­cess; our peo­ple care in­tensely about their role within the Com­pany, but also their im­pact of their work on the en­vi­ron­ment and the com­mu­ni­ties which host our fa­cil­i­ties.”

With its cur­rent rate of ex­pan­sion, Minafin places vast amounts of trust in its staff com­ing from all over the world to carry out the ex­ten­sive de­vel­op­ments it is in­volved in.

“Our cus­tomer base cov­ers both global and in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies and there­fore we are ded­i­cated to the ex­pan­sion of our global stand­ing through the devel­op­ment of our world­wide com­pany network,” con­tin­ues Gauchet. “We will al­ways find the best and most ef­fi­cient out­come for our cus­tomers, which is achieved through our se­lec­tion of com­ple­men­tary and syn­er­getic busi­ness units within the Group.”

Group network

As part of the Minafin Group, Minakem op­er­ates as a con­tract devel­op­ment and man­u­fac­tur­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion (CDMO), com­pa­ra­ble to top-class com­pa­nies in de­liv­er­ing ser­vices to the in­dus­try across its three man­u­fac­tur­ing sites.

“We look specif­i­cally at ser­vic­ing de­mand for high-po­tency ac­tive prin­ci­ples,” de­scribes Thierry Van Nieuwen­hove, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer at Minakem. “Our three man­u­fac­tur­ing sites specif­i­cally tar­get these projects, with a launch fa­cil­ity that in­cor­po­rates our ex­cel­lent re­search and devel­op­ment (R&D) ser­vices to en­sure we are able to suc­cess­fully launch of the ac­tives prin­ci­ples of branded drugs.

“We have also im­ple­mented solid- form labs that al­low be­spoke de­sign of the solid ac­tive prin­ci­ple and is cur­rently pro­vid­ing us with a unique sell­ing point for the pharma fac­to­ries within the mar­ket, there­fore we are able to de­liver some­thing that many other com­pa­nies are un­able to.”

Along­side its ex­ten­sive R&D work, the Com­pany is fo­cus­ing on con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment in or­der to make sure that cus­tomer re­quire­ments are al­ways met through its phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal de­vel­op­ments.

Van Nieuwen­hove adds: “Minakem pro­vides one of the largest and most prof­itable seg­ments within the wider Group and looks set to con­tinue on as a ma­jor growth point.

“As part of the Minafin Group we are able to lever­age an ex­ten­sive network of knowl­edge to our ad­van­tage, while also en­joy­ing the syn­ergy that we have built to en­sure ex­cep­tional ser­vice, in­no­va­tion and con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment for our cus­tomers at all times.”

Prod­uct clas­si­fi­ca­tion

More re­cently Minakem has been in­vest­ing heav­ily in new pipe­lines in or­der to sup­port mar­ket growth, some­thing that has been oc­cur­ring at a rapid rate for the past two years in par­tic­u­lar.

“Some of our most re­cent in­vest­ments have been put in place to en­sure that we have ce­mented a ca­pac­ity to cope with the fu­ture de­mand put upon us by our cus­tomers,”

As part of the Minafin Group we are able to lever­age an ex­ten­sive network of knowl­edge to our ad­van­tage, while also en­joy­ing the syn­ergy that we have built to en­sure ex­cep­tional ser­vice, in­no­va­tion and con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment for our cus­tomers at all times

ex­plains Van Nieuwen­hove. “One of our de­vel­op­ments has been on chro­matog­ra­phy for spe­cific pu­rifi­ca­tion of high po­tent phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­gre­di­ents, us­ing ap­prox­i­mately nine mil­lion eu­ros of in­vest­ment to cover it.

“This is also aid­ing us in ramp­ing up the bar in terms of prod­uct clas­si­fi­ca­tion; where we orig­i­nally only had the ca­pac­ity to han­dle class five prod­ucts suit­able for most of the an­ti­cancer drugs, we are now push­ing for class six in which you find cy­to­toxin-based drugs.”

At one of the Com­pany’s sites based in Dunkirk it has added a new line of man­u­fac­tur­ing, us­ing mul­ti­pur­pose man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties has en­abled it to see rapid devel­op­ment on projects thanks to the in­vest­ment of more than 14.5 mil­lion eu­ros.

“We also recog­nise the im­por­tance of pur­su­ing an­a­lyt­i­cal sup­port and have sub­se­quently been in­vest­ing a lot of time and money in that area,” con­tin­ues Van Nieuwen­hove. “In to­day’s mar­ket we have mon­i­tored our cus­tomers’ re­quests for the ex­ten­sion of sup­port on the an­a­lyt­i­cal side of our busi­ness, aid­ing them in ful­fill­ing obli­ga­tions with au­thor­i­ties in fil­ing new drugs for com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion. We know that in a short space of time this will add sig­nif­i­cant value to both our port­fo­lio and the ease with which our cus­tomers projects are car­ried out.”

Sourc­ing tal­ent

When it comes to en­sur­ing that the Com­pany runs in a pro­fes­sional and uni­fied man­ner, its peo­ple are one of the most im­por­tant as­pects.

“For us it starts with R&D, we aim to source the best tal­ents while also find­ing those that will bring a unique per­cep­tion to our busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties,” Van Nieuwen­hove de­scribes. “We fo­cus on achiev­ing a cul­tur­ally di­verse work place as a global en­tity, work­ing on the con­tin­u­a­tion of es­tab­lish­ing our­selves as a leader in the in­dus­try to aid us in at­tract­ing tal­ent to our team.

“Re­cently we have been show­ing good progress in this area, while also in­creas­ing the avail­able roles within our or­gan­i­sa­tion. Peo­ple want to

be­long to a suc­cess story, and at the Minafin Group we hope to be viewed in that man­ner.”

With such an en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit in both a fast and ag­ile com­pany, Minafin and its sub­sidiary Minakem also en­sures that once it has at­tracted the right tal­ent, the process doesn’t stop there.

Van Nieuwen­hove adds: “Once peo­ple are on board we in­vest greatly in their train­ing through­out the year, con­tin­u­ing to de­velop their tal­ent.

“Due to the fast evo­lu­tion of our busi­ness and work, we are hav­ing to tackle in­creas­ingly com­plex and

tech­ni­cal is­sue and there­fore we are hav­ing to pro­vide high-qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion in-house.”

Mov­ing for­ward, as well as in­creas­ing its ca­pa­bil­i­ties through train­ing and devel­op­ment, it hopes to dou­ble its size within the next decade.

“We don’t just want to be one of those com­pa­nies that is num­ber one purely down to size,” con­cludes Van Nieuwen­hove. “We will work to re­main at the fore­front of our cus­tomers minds, pro­vid­ing them with the best pos­si­ble ser­vice while ac­tively ex­pand­ing our foot­print all over the world.”

Minafin in­vests heav­ily in its fa­cil­i­ties

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