Actylis emerges from former Aceto
A new player has emerged in the manufacture and sourcing of raw materials and ingredients for the life sciences and speciality chemicals markets, in the form of Actylis.
Speaking at a press conference to launch the new brand identity, CEO Gilles Cottier described Actylis as “an entirely new and transformed company designed for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century”. It has “a uniquely flexible portfolio of GMP and non-GMP materials”, he added, and can provide “a unique hybrid of manufacturing and sourcing to best meet your needs”.
Based in Port Washington, New York, Actylis combines the former Aceto and its ten subsidiary operations. They are A&C, A&C Bio Buffer, Aceto, Biotron Laboratories, Cascade Chemistry, Finar, Inter-Actifs, IsleChem, Pharma Waldhof, Syntor Fine Chemicals and Talus. Many of these had been acquired since 2019, three in consecutive months in the spring of 2021.
During this time, the company’s payroll also grew from 200 to over 800 in ten countries across three continents, while the proportion of non-white senior executives grew from nil to 25%. Women now comprise 26% of the senior leadership, noted HR director John Simpkins. Sales are over $560 million/year and it has seven manufacturing and seven R&D facilities worldwide.
Aceto had carried out research internally and with customers, concluding that it needed a single, unified brand that reflects its hybrid offer, said Gearoid O’Rourke, VP of global marketing. Having 11 brands was found to be no longer sustainable.
The name Actylis comes from Latin words meaning ‘action’ and ‘life-giving’. It reflects the aspiration to be more than a supplier – hence also the strapline ‘The partner of choice’. The logo implies a handshake as well as the equilibrium between manufacturing and sourcing and between biology and chemistry.
Since being itself acquired by investment firm New Mountain Capital in 2019, Cottier said, Aceto had “embarked on an aggressive journey to be a manufacturing and R&D player”. It made seven acquisitions, integrated these companies and deployed New Mountain’s capital to implement CRM, quality, finance and HR systems that were often lacking before.
“We are also now an agile, responsive distributor with a network of 1,000 suppliers which can compete with the CDMOs who are tied to their manufacturing assets. We can leverage our sourcing model and supplier network around the world in order to compete,” he added.
The Life Science division accounts for 70% of revenues. Actylis will increasingly focus on pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals, nutrition and cosmetics, where Actylis will increasingly develop products through its own R&D. The Specialty Chemicals focus will still be mainly through its network of relationships with toll manufacturers.
This year, Actylis is expecting to spend $25 million to expand its capabilities, compared to typically $1-2 million/year before 2019. This notably includes added capacity for speciality chemicals and non-GMP pharmaceutical ingredients at its site in New York state and water-for-injection capabilities at Montreal to make buffers for biopharmaceuticals.
The biggest investment by far, however, is a second facility at Eugene, Oregon, to make advanced pharmaceutical intermediates and GMP clinical and commercial APIs. Site manager Christine Bellmor revealed that this will add seven GMP suites to an existing one. One of them is currently completing its first project.
“We have installed equipment to offer higher speed and more flexibility,” she said. “We have also installed an analytical laboratory and scaled up the quality systems. The site is for small-scale manufacturing but has extra space for larger equipment up to 2,000 litres when needed.”