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BASF wants a share of pharma omega-3 market

By Gareth Macdonald , 15-Oct-2012

BASF wants a share of the $1.5bn global market for drug grade omega-3 and expects the plant it is building to start shipping product early next year. 

The German chemicals giant acquired Equateq – now called BASF Pharma Callanish – in May, describing the Scotland-based firm as the global leader in the production of concentrated omega-3 fatty acids and citing its EPA and DHA products as key drivers for the deal.

in-Pharmatechnologist.com spoke with BASF spokesman Ralf Fink at CPhI in Madrid, Spain Iast week to ask how the firm views the current market and how it intends to grow this new part of its business.

“First of all the market is growing nicely and there is enough space for all of us. Today we see two major players in the market and the dominant player is Pronova…they created the market by having a technology in place to supply firms like GSK.”

To this end – Fink continued – BASF chose CPhI to showcase its own omega-3 active pharmaceutical ingredient (API), which it will produce at the new plant it is building in Callanish on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland.

The technology they are using is simulated moving bed technology…which is a patent protected, unique, cost efficient and very flexible manufacturing technology,” Fink said, adding that the plant’s ability to produce a variety of different omega-3 grades is key to meeting customers’ demands.

He declined to specify how much omega-3 BASF will be able to produce at the new plant – other than that it will be a substantial amount – but did say that: “It is a world class manufacturing facility…that we plan to have up and running and supplying product to our customers very early next year.” 

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