Umicore - Precious metals

Committed to customer satisfaction, Umicore develops and manufactures first-class metalbased catalysts and APIs and lets its partners concentrate on marketing their end products.

Like many strategic purchasers and process R&D scientists, Umicore's specialists have faced two particular problems when upscaling a chemical process using catalysts from R&D to commercial production. How to ensure the steady supply at tens or hundreds of kilograms of a standard palladiumphosphine catalyst and how to ensure the steady supply at the same large scale of a custom-made homogeneous catalyst?

Flexible manufacturing

Umicore has over 40 years' experience in precious metals chemistry. Its sales and marketing are specialised in handling products or technology. These teams enable the company to adjust its R&D support and production scale-up to suit customer needs, from grams or kilograms to tons, in the same short lead times. They also allow Umicore to market new catalysts quickly, after evaluating catalyst activity, securing the IP and optimising and scaling up the manufacture of catalysts in the company's multi-purpose plants. There, products are scaled up using glasslined reactors operating in an inert atmosphere.

The whole process allows the company to provide the most innovative catalysts, the most consistent quality and the safest supply. Umicore prides itself on its 'close loop concept' of customer service, combining the above advantages with detailed technical sales support. This enables the most efficient metal recovery at the most competitive prices worldwide.

Examples of new products scaled up in 2010 include di(tri-tbutylphosphine) palladium(0) - CAS No 53199-31-8, a crosscoupling catalyst also known as the 'FU' catalyst, which we now produce on regular basis at more than 10 kg scale. Our optimised manufacturing process allows us to guarantee up to four months' product and performance stability.

The second of our new products is chloro(p-cymene)(BINAP) ruthenium chloride, also available today at tens of kilograms at a level of quality matching the most sensitive enantioselective catalytic processes. Both enantiomers can be supplied at the same scale.
Last but not least, the (hexamethylbenzene) ruthenium(II) chloride dimmer is due to be released at multi-kilogram scale later this year. It has been developed at a high and consistent level of purity, and is a reliable precursor for the in situ formation of enantioselective catalysts.

Whether you are looking for the most competitive source of Wilkinson's catalyst, for the best Pd catalyst to develop an amination reaction, or you want to optimise your asymmetric hydrogenation step with a pre-formed metal-ligand complex, or to scale up the ring closure metathesis of a challenging substrate, the Umicore team will support you to best fulfil your needs.

The market leader in Latin America with 60% platinum API market share, the company also supplies Cisplatin, Carboplatin and Oxaliplatin to oncology players on a global scale and is able to cover half of the worldwide demand for Platinum API products.

Taking advantage of its metal chemistry expertise and the full compliance of its plant with GMP, USP, EP and JP guidelines as well as with ISO 9001 and 14001 standards, Umicore's R&D team has started to produce other metal-based APIs in partnership with other companies. In such joint ventures, Umicore develops and manufactures the API while its partners concentrate on developing and marketing the drug.

If you are looking for an API partner, the company is happy to start the joint development of your new products. The development and manufacture of metal-based catalysts and APIs contributes to Umicore´s mission to provide materials for a better life.

Experience today's and tomorrow's metal-based APIs

Committed to hassle-free co-operations, Umicore develops and manufactures first-class metal-based APIs, which enables its partners to concentrate on marketing the drugs.

Umicore is globally recognised with more than 40 years of leadership in precious metals chemistry and over a decade of platinum active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) experience.

After obtaining 60% platinum API market share in Latin America, the company invested $8 million in the construction of a state-of-the-art greenfield API plant in Argentina. Opened in January 2009, the plant now flexibly supplies platinum APIs to key oncology players globally. The new plant has also increased the company's production capacity, and is able to cover 50% of the worldwide demand for platinum API products.

International standards

Making optimum use of its unique metallurgy and chemistry expertise, Umicore today produces the most important oncology platinum APIs: cisplatin, carboplatin and oxaliplatin Following 'The Umicore Way', APIs are manufactured according to the highest quality and social standards. The GMP-approved plant produces under the USP, EP and JP guidelines and is compliant with ISO 9001 and 14001. Needless to say, the plant and the product documentation comply with the most stringent international standards.

As the platinum API production is fully integrated into Umicore's closed metal loop concept, customers are assured of continuous platinum availability, due to Umicore's recycling operations. Customers can also count on the active support of the company's dedicated marketing and sales teams located in more than 50 locations worldwide.

Product partners

Alongside platinum APIs, Umicore's research and development team has started developing other metal-based APIs to be produced in the new plant. The preferred business model is a cooperation where Umicore develops and manufactures the API and its partner concentrates on developing and marketing the drug. Umicore is actively looking for new partners interested in developing new products.

Umicore is a leading manufacturer of highly pure and active precious metals catalysts and chemicals for use in a broad array of industries, spanning from automotive catalyst manufacturing to the pharmaceutical industry. Besides its expertise in metal-based APIs, Umicore has developed a wide range of organometallic precious metal catalysts and precursors, which are used primarily for homogeneous catalysis applications and have been enabling the implementation of innovative and cost-effective commercial scale processes in the life science industries.

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Umicore scales up new catalysts using glass-lined reactors.
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