Olon announces the creation of a major centre of research and development in Italy

Published: 26-May-2022

The company, which specialises in supplying APIs globally, has invested 10 million of euro

Olon announces the creation of an R&D hub at its centre in Rodano (Milan, Italy), home to the Group’s headquarters, paving the way for further major expansion and diversification of its expertise and technologies applied to the development of APIs for the CDMO and Generics market. With a €10-million investment, the Italian Group has announced the creation of a huge area dedicated entirely to research laboratories to be used to develop API (active pharmaceutical ingredients), manufacturing processes, forming a central research hub and which, integrating with the 7 existing Olon research centres will give rise to an innovative global R&D networking model where the high-level expertise and know-how involved in specific processes, consolidated in the 11 Olon plants worldwide, will be connected, shared, and extensively applied across the Group's entire manufacturing network. The major investment involves the construction of a vast area of laboratories, some of which will focus on furthering the development of new, highly sustainable technologies, including biocatalysis and photochemistry. It will also support significant growth in the R&D team, with up to 50 new researchers hired, bringing the total number of people assigned to research activities to around 350.

Leading API supplier Olon announces a €10-million investment for the creation of its international research and development hub, which will cover a huge area within its site in Rodano (Milan), one of the largest in the Group's network and already highly strategic in terms of expertise in advanced manufacturing processes, high containment technologies, and knowledge applied to process development. Construction work will get underway in May 2022 and the centre will be completed, and therefore operative, in the second quarter of 2023.

The new hub represents growth in terms of people, expertise and skills, with the strategic objective of boosting internal know-how. Based on integrated data systems, this know-how will enable the company to scale up products faster and to achieve highly flexible and reliable tech transfer from one site to another. It will also facilitate the development of new molecules and innovative synthesis methods and, lastly, help the company attain more competitive process safety standards, thus increasing the safety of plants, constant product quality and ensuring business continuity.

The centre will house a number of different areas, each one dedicated to a specific field of application. The hub will include a laboratory for process safety and research into scale-up and transfer processes. It will also have an analytical R&D area, which will broaden expertise for the development of new synthesis methods and new APIs, from the early phase. Last but not least, there will be a process development laboratory with a team focusing on the development of advanced processes. All competencies will be interlinked, complementing each other, on the basis of a continuous exchange and cross fertilisation model, not only within the new hub but also with the other Olon R&D centres around the world.

“Our vision is not limited to a major expansion of R&D, which is already a fundamental competitive asset for the Group today. We also aim to link the new hub up to all the other R&D centres in order to build a network of medium-sized labs that can absorb the high level of specialisation and know-how of technologies specific to one site, transferring them to another. The knowledge, experience and data will be shared and exchanged, enabling application across Olon’s entire global manufacturing network,” explained Giorgio Bertolini, Senior Vice President R&D at Olon Group. “This means that each and every Olon site will benefit from the best global expertise within the Group, no matter where they are based, supporting new process development or problem-solving.”

The project involves the creation of laboratories with teams focusing on new technologies, or new technological applications, to develop innovative and highly sustainable processes for industrial production. In particular, Olon is focusing on the introduction of continuous manufacturing, biocatalysis and photochemistry. “Many of these research projects,” continued Bertolini, “will be carried out in partnership with the most prestigious Italian and foreign universities, with which we already have well-established partnerships that will be strengthened even further thanks to the new centre.”

“The Italian R&D hub will be an international centre of excellence in the pharmaceutical landscape,” commented Paolo Tubertini, Olon Group CEO. “This investment is a springboard for future growth prospects guided by a clear strategic vision: innovation is our competitive edge in the CDMO and Generic API market. And that is why we invest in research: we are an Italian Group, boasting the highest standards of quality, safety and reliability in the world.”

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