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High Potency APIs

One of the pioneering sites in HPAIs changed hands last year. Andrew Warmington visited Minakem High Potent in Belgium

It was one of the earliest sites to make high potency APIs (HPAIs) and Minakem was already seeking to expand into the field. It was also quite close to two of Minakem’s existing API sites, so acquiring the Ajinomoto OmniChem facility near the ultra-modern university town of Louvain-la-Neuve, south of Brussels, was too good an opportunity to miss. The deal was completed in June 2015 and the newly constituted Minakem High Potent (MHP) is now one of six businesses belonging to Minafin, a global fine chemicals group which had sales of €136 million last year and sites in Europe and North America, and which now employs about 500 people. Pharma still accounts for 70% of Minafin’s turnover, with the rest being technical additives (18%), cosmetics and food additives (7%) and agrochemicals (5%). Its other business units are:

  • Minakem itself, based at the two main sites in northern France at Beuvry-la-Forêt , formerly known as SEAC, which Minafin owner Frédéric Gauchet acquired in 2004, and the former AstraZeneca site in Dunkerque, which was acquired in 2009
  • Pennakem, based in Memphis, Tennessee, and acquired in 2008, which specialises in furan and furfural products
  • Pressure Chemical, a Pittsburgh-based CMO, which was acquired in 2013
  • Minasolve, which has marketed capabilities for the cosmetics and food additives markets from Beuvry-la-Forêt since 2009
  • Minascent, which has just been established to manage the Leuna site near Leipzig in Germany, itself acquired in 2006, reflecting Leuna’s increasing focus on non-pharma business and sulfur and selenium chemistry