How far it has come in almost 20 years! Created in 2003, Seqens has grown from 3 to 24 production sites and 10 R&D centers worldwide. The group is number one in pharmaceutical chemistry in France, 2nd in Europe and 5th worldwide in terms of sales. It has strong positions in paracetamol and especially salicylic acid (aspirin), for which it is now the world leader. Seqens operates with a workforce of 3,200 employees worldwide (1,700 in France), including 300 scientists, engineers and experts.
The spectrum of Seqens‘ activities is very wide. Its customers operate in industries as diverse as electronics, cosmetics, food, detergents and, of course, health. Pharmaceutical synthesis accounted for half of the group’s revenues of approximately €1 billion in 2019. (More recent figures?)
In this field, Seqens supports its clients in producing active ingredients, from the first clinical phases to industrialization and marketing. The group controls the production of a broad portfolio of active pharmaceutical ingredients, intermediates and generics, both small and large scale. Big pharma, startups or medium-sized companies, the molecules developed by its customers are at different stages, from pre-clinical to mature molecules.
“Seqens is a multi-specialist company that offers its customers technologies, a scientific approach and solutions in order to support them in their future developments, and in the end, to better serve patients,” Philippe Clavel, Vice President Innovative & Generic Pharmaceuticals at Seqens.
As an integrated global player, Seqens drives the entire product value chain. “We start before other sector players and can thus guarantee our customers that we are able to supply the solutions they require,” Philippe Clavel pointed out. In the aspirin chain, for example, Seqens makes phenol, and then from phenol, salicylic acid, to obtain aspirin. Everything is done in the group’s buildings, from A to Z. “We are very vigilant in respect of the issue of supply chain security,” Philippe Clavel continued, a particularly sensitive issue since the Covid 19 pandemic.
Now established in 10 countries, in 2016 Seqens took the decision to strengthen its positions in pharmaceutical synthesis and specialty chemistry, with some operations in plant extracts, through the acquisition of a number of businesses: CU Chemie Uetikon in Germany, PCAS in France (sites in France and Finland), PCI Synthesis in the USA and, in 2021, Wavelength, in Israel.
Going to BIO is “an absolute must,” according to Philippe Clavel. “As our field of action covers a very broad spectrum of businesses, this unity of location allows us to reach a wide range of prospects and customers in just a few days.” Seqens is also going to the USA to further develop its brand in the world’s largest pharma market. “This is an opportunity to explain or re-explain our value proposition, in particular for our CDMO, polymer and lipid offer, with applications in oncology and for RNA vaccines.” At the convention, Seqens shall be present for the first time on the Lyonbiopôle and Business France stand. In addition, the group will open an R&D and manufacturing facility in Devens, in the Boston area, on December 15, 2022.
By investing between €150 and €200 million in its production tools in France over the last three years, Seqens has demonstrated that it is still possible to maintain leading activities in Europe, in a context where upstream pharmaceutical chemistry has relocated to Asia.