Life Sciences

Spectrum Chemical under new leadership as bioCERTIFIED range showcased at CPhI

New President/CEO of Spectrum Chemical, Russell Kneipp discusses the firm’s vision at CPhI and new additions to the bioCERTIFIED range.

November’s CPHI marks two months since Spectrum Chemical’s Russell Kneipp was promoted to President and CEO of the California-based fine chemicals and laboratory equipment provider.

Kniepp, who was Spectrum’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) since 2018, has wasted no time in implementing his vison as to which direction the firm will be heading in the various markets it serves.

“We’ve been focusing on where our strengths are and really our fastest growing segment is within the biopharma space, where we see a lot of the growth going forwards.

“The rest of the business is in medically related fields, so pharma, med devices, where there’s also some growth there.

“The whole biopharma segment is one where we’re putting a lot of focus on, But within the other regulated markets too, we’ve got a very broad product line, and so we’re looking to continue to grow those spaces as well.

“As far as challenges, one of them is basically taking a 50-year-old business and focusing on our processes and our systems  to enable scalable growth.”

Additions to bioCERTIFIED range

With Kneipp at the helm, Spectrum Chemical enters a new chapter as it looks to build on the industries it serves with raw material sourcing capabilities, a portfolio of compendial chemicals and in-house analytical testing capabilities.

Spectrum was attending CPHI in Frankfurt to showcase the latest additions to its bioCERTIFIED quality management system and chemicals portfolio for biopharmaceutical manufacturing.

The twelve new products include sugars/carbohydrates, organic and inorganic salts, and preservatives used in upstream cell culture development to downstream purification, polishing and final fill production.

One of the sugar/carbohydrates is sucrose (Beet-Derived), USP-NF, EP, JP, ChP, a widely used stabilizer in drug products and upstream cell culture and downstream final fill.

However, as Kneipp pointed out, COVID-19 placed a greater worldwide demand for fully documented chemical quality and safety.

“We started with our bioCERTIFIED line about four years ago,” said Kneipp. “We played in the biopharma space prior to that, but not with a specific high grade, product line at that point in time.

“I think because of COVID, the market was looking for other solutions, and so we just happened to be really at the right place at the right time with a developing product line.

“Within pharma, biopharma is the fastest growing segment. And so, I think because of the pandemic and all the demands on product to support it, our awareness got accelerated and maybe it catapulted us faster than it would’ve if we’d continued on our own without the pandemic.”

Distribution agreement strategy

Spectrum’s growth has been characterized by distribution agreements with “key players” which the company identified as German pharma and nutraceutical excipient solutions provider DFE Pharma. and US-based ingredients manufacturer and marketer ANGUS.

“About three years ago, we forged a relationship with Mako Organics from the Czech Republic, and they were really our first partnership to help deal with organics and salts.

“Through that we’ve been piecing together who some of the other key players are that we would want to partner with and that’s brought us to DFE and ANGUS.

“Our Spectrum label is really where most of our products are brought to market, but there’s a few key areas where having strategic partnerships is important.