Fine chemical companies have been forced to make difficult decisions as they have struggled with industry-wide rationalization and consolidation, overcapacity, competition from emerging markets and regulatory burdens. In addition, the past few years have seen a decline in the number of new drugs submitted for approval along with continued erosion in Big Pharma’s blockbusters due to patent expirations and generic challenges.
The wave of M&A in the pharmaceutical industry has added to stresses within the fine chemical industry, as pharmaceutical companies rationalize their pipelines and out-sourcing requirements. Indeed with pharmaceutical companies dealing with their own overcapacity situation, they have returned to in-sourcing their production.
In the past, fine chemical companies have used the development of difficult chemistries, such as asymmetric synthesis, as a point of differentiation. This strategy was successful for a period of time but as the technologies became more widespread, it has become increasingly difficult to differentiate companies.
TCI has been following fine chemical (especially chiral) chemistry since 1989. Single enantiomers are of great importance in the worldwide pharmaceutical and fine chemical markets with more than 50 percent of the top 100 drugs worldwide marketed as single-enantiomer products. Biopharmaceuticals, a subset of chiral compounds, are experiencing even greater growth than chiral compounds as a whole. Technology Catalysts International is an active resource for technical and business information in this rapidly developing field.