Siegfried in Evionnaz: 150 years of pharmaceutical innovation
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About fifty people from the Swiss Health Valley had the chance to visit the Siegfried production site in Evionnaz, during a BioAlps 4à6.
The story of Siegfried began in 1973 in the canton of Aargau. Back then, 12 people were dedicated to manufacturing raw materials for local pharmacies. Today, the group operates 11 production sites, employs 3,600 people, including 380 in Evionnaz, and has achieved sales of CHF 1.2 billion in 2022. Siegfried has also been listed on the stock exchange since 1973 and is one of the biggest and more successful biopharmaceutical company in Switzerland. The group was even listed in the top 10 Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisations (CDMOs).
The Siegfried Group offers pharmaceutical development and manufacturing services, and is specialising in drug formulations for:
- Solids (tablets, inhalation capsules)
- Semi-solids (topical creams, ophthalmic ointments)
- Liquids (sterile and non-sterile)
A long-standing company
Business in Evionnaz began 66 years ago, the company was named Orgamol. The site was acquired by BASF, then by Siegfried in 2015. “We manufacture active ingredients for the pharmaceutical industry, major laboratories, innovative companies and generic manufacturers. These active ingredients are either exclusive, sold to a single customer, or non-exclusive, sold by catalogue to multiple customers.For example, cough suppressants, local anaesthetics, antiseptics and analgesics, as well as active ingredients to combat cancer, hepatitis, diabetes and many other diseases”, explains Marcel Signer, the director of the plant.
The company also keeps on investing. In spring 2023, the Evionnaz site began the construction of a new research and development centre at a cost estimated at CHF 25 million. This extension should eventually employ 40 more people.
An integrated player in the local life sciences ecosystem
Siegfried is one of the Valais main chemical factory and works in close contact with the local authorities. ” We have contacts to develop training for operators, for example, with EPFL and HES-SO Valais-Wallis. Our workforce is key and we have to ensure that we’re in line with the needs we have now and the needs we will have in the future, to find technicians, engineers, laboratory experts… This is the only way to evolve and to adapt to an ever-changing market,” says Marcel Signer. Finding highly trained staff is difficult for biotech and biopharma companies nowadays. However, canton of Valais has many assets to attracts new talents. “We offer very attractive working conditions. We have an exceptional natural environment. Every morning, when you go to work, and you see all these beautiful mountains, I think that also motivates you to work in the region. We manage to maintain a good balance work-life balance, and we have here an amazing quality of life.”
Facts & figures
- 11 sites
- 3,600 employees, including 380 in Evionnaz, Valais
- 500 customers
- 200 FDA-approved active ingredients
- 100 million patients served annually
- 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines produced by 2022
- Sales 2022: CHF 1.2 billion