We are a leading, global supplier of tools, research-grade chemicals, and equipment for academic labs, biotech and biopharmaceutical manufacturers, and the industrial sector. Together with our customers, our purpose is to positively impact life and health with science. With a strong focus on innovation, we are committed to delivering the products, services, and digital platforms to create a sustainable future for generations to come.
Across our Research Solutions, Process Solutions, and Applied Solutions business units, we collaborate with the global scientific community to deliver breakthrough innovations along with a broad and deep portfolio of more than 300,000 products.
Research Solutions provides customer solutions to scientists in academic institutions, government labs, research hospitals, pharmaceutical, R&D, and biotech organizations, empowering their efforts to accelerate science.
Process Solutions provides biopharmaceutical manufacturers with process development expertise and technologies, supporting them to develop and manufacture drugs safely, effectively, and cost efficiently. Our biopharmaceutical customers look for expertise and products to improve every step of their manufacturing process, while biotech startups look for holistic support to build and scale up their manufacturing. With approximately 25,000 products and services – including single-use manufacturing, filtration, chromatography and purification, virus reduction, pharma and biopharma raw materials, drug delivery compounds, and engineering and validation services.
In Applied Solutions, we aim to improve health across many areas of daily life with diagnostic solutions to ensure the safety of vaccines and other life-saving therapies as well as provide testing services to identify contaminants in food, air and water. We supply products and workflow solutions that streamline processes, lower costs and deliver consistent, reliable results for diagnostic, testing and industrial customers, with 62,000-plus products and services that include lab water instruments for water purification, consumables and services, microbiology and bio-monitoring, test assays, analytical reagents, and flow cytometry kits and instruments.
In 2021, Life Science generated 46 percent of Group sales as well as 50 percent of EBITDA pre (excluding Corporate and Other).
Our Response to Covid-19*
We are helping to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic with products and solutions that empower scientists to detect and characterize viruses and to develop and manufacture vaccines and therapies. We are committed to providing the necessary research tools and reagents, manufacturing processes and production products to aid the global scientific fight against this novel virus. We continue to support many of our customers working on Covid-19 projects through our products and services, providing for more than 35 testing solutions across RT-PCR, antigen, and antibody diagnostics for both high-throughput centralized and distributed point-of-care settings; more than 80 different vaccine programs, consisting of several platforms that include DNA, Inactivated, Live Attenuated Virus, Viral Vector, Protein Subunit and mRNA; and more than 50 monoclonal antibodies, plasma-derived products and antiviral treatments. Additionally, through our eCommerce platform, www.sigmaaldrich.com, we provide a one-stop shop of more than 200 of the most commonly-used products and corresponding information for academic labs and biopharmaceutical companies working on Covid-19 diagnostic tests, vaccines and treatments.
We have also tapped into existing collaborations to support projects that target Covid-19 vaccine and therapy development. We have extended our partnership with BioNTech, for which we supplied key materials for their manufacturing platforms with a focus on therapies for cancer; today, we supply lipids for the drug delivery of BioNTech’s mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine, which is now approved for use in many countries.
As the pandemic continues, a global task force actively evaluates the overall supply chain of both products and key raw materials suppliers to mitigate any potential disruption. Leveraging business continuity plans, we remain dedicated to serving our customers in all markets. Protocols and guidelines have been set to minimize the impact to supply. Our 52 manufacturing sites and more than 100 distribution centers around the world remain operational to ensure that customers have the products and services they need to support the health of a global population.
Throughout all of this, we follow guidance outlined by the WHO, CDC and governments of impacted countries, and our global sites have relevant and approved preparedness plans and are empowered to act per their local scenarios, as necessary.
In 2021, we continued to collaborate with customers around the world to advance scientific progress.
Mid-year, we launched our new e-commerce platform with a simplified learning and buying journey on www.sigmaaldrich.com. The site was built to support an optimized experience for more flexible digital access. We introduced customers to an updated look and feel, enhanced mobile capabilities, faster and more reliable website performance, as well as features like self-serve order status and product ratings and reviews. In alignment with our long-term e-commerce strategy to leverage www.sigmaaldrich.com as a scalable growth driver and the destination for our life science community, we are leveraging our new website architecture so that we may continue to improve the customer experience more rapidly and flexibly in the future. In 2021, we supported more than 26 million global users in over 77 million sessions, with total e-commerce sales growing 22.4% over the previous year, totaling more than € 1.45 billion.
A key goal for our Life Science business sector is to support our customers that manufacture drugs, from small to large innovator companies, bring safe and effective life-enhancing therapies and vaccines to millions of patients around the world. To that end, we continued to leverage strategic opportunities to enhance our capabilities and expand our products and services offering.
In January, we announced the acquisition of AmpTec GmbH, a leading Hamburg, Germany-based, mRNA contract development and manufacturing organization, to strengthen our capabilities to develop and manufacture mRNA for customer use in vaccines, treatments and diagnostics applicable in Covid-19 and many other diseases.
In February, we announced the further expansion of our strategic partnership with BioNTech SE, Mainz, to accelerate supply of urgently-need lipids used for the production of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (BNT162b2).
Also, in February, we also announced an agreement with Alteogen, Inc., of South Korea, to provide late-stage Contract Development and Manufacturing organization (CDMO) services through our BioReliance® End-to-End Solutions to develop and produce recombinant biologics used in the development and clinical evaluation of next-generation therapeutics from monoclonal antibody drugs.
In May, we launched a new, high-purity synthetic cholesterol product to meet the high demand for lipids, a key component of mRNA-based vaccines and therapeutics. Under the SAFC® brand of products, this launch occurred nine months ahead of schedule and increases capacity by the factor 50. We are one of a few companies that produces lipids in quantities needed to meet demand for mRNA therapeutics, including the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.
In October, we launched two new technologies to advance antibody-dug conjugates (ADC) therapies. These initiatives underscore our continued investment in novel modalities and support our efforts to double our ADC and high-potent active pharmaceutical ingredient (HPAPI) capacity in the near future. With the launch of the ChetoSensar™ technology, we are working to address the hydrophobicity of ADCs. The new Dolcore™ platform significantly reduces the development and time required to manufacture ADCs, increasing speed-to-market for a novel Dolostatin-based ADC payload by up to a year.
In January, we launched the new Milli-Q® EQ 7000 Type 1 water purification system to expand our benchtop ultrapure water system portfolio. The new Milli-Q® EQ 7000 system produces consistent ultrapure water quality that is easily customized to experimental requirements, strengthening our Milli-Q® ultrapure water offering.
In December, the U.S. government awarded a € 121 million contract for the construction of a lateral flow membrane production facility, over a three-year period, at our site in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, United States. The contract, received from the U.S. Department of Defense, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is part of an effort to ensure secure local supply and production capacity for critical products for pandemic preparedness.
Investments to expand capabilities and production*
In March, we announced the acceleration of our European expansion plans by adding a single-use assembly production unit at our site in Molsheim, France. With the € 25 million investment, we are responding to the unprecedented global demand of this key technology, which is used for the production of Covid-19 vaccines and other lifesaving therapies.
In June, we announced an investment to strengthen our development and production of monoclonal antibodies and other life-saving medicines and vaccines. This includes € 50 million to strengthen bioproduction activities at our site in Martillac, France, involving the creation of 150 jobs until 2024. Combined with our investment in Molsheim, France, these expansion plans are part of an ambitious multi-year program aimed at expanding the industrial capacities of our business sector to meet growing global demand for life-saving drugs and make a significant contribution to global public health.
In October, we announced the opening of our second Carlsbad, California, United States-based facility, significantly expanding our global Contract Development Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) footprint. This new € 100 million, 13,000 square meter facility will more than double our existing capacity to support large-scale commercial and industrial manufacturing for viral gene therapy, in a market expected to grow to € 9 billion by 2026.
* The contents of this chapter or section are voluntary and therefore not audited. However, our auditor has read the text critically.