Altergon Italia

Altergon Italia (www.altergon.it) is the Italian production site of the Swiss pharmaceutical company Altergon SA. Altergon Italia is based at Morra de Sanctis, located in the Avellino province of the Campania region of Italy. The site is regarded as an international-level centre of expertise (CoE) in the industrialisation of fermentative processes for the synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

Currently, more than 150 full-time staff work at Altergon Italia. The manufacturing plant is efficient, modern and highly-automated, and operates in compliance with current international GMP regulations, especially those set forth by European and USA governing bodies. Half of the work force is qualified to degree or PhD level, the majority of which obtained experience either at the 2nd University of Naples or through applied research and coordinated training projects of ATIBB-BioTekNet, with co-financing provided by the Italian Ministry of University and Research (MIUR) or by the Campania Region.

With the aid of the services provided by BioTekNet and the 2nd University of Naples, Altergon Italia has developed an innovative process for the production of fermentation-derived injectable polysaccharides. This new process can take the place of those based on the extraction of APIs from animal-based matrices, which are restricted by low yields, problems in the supply of the raw materials, the risk of viral contamination and the impossibility of modifying the characteristics of the final end product, such as its molecular weight, a particularly important parameter for many applications.

Even more important are environmental considerations: traditional processes require the use of endangered species - such as sharks and cetaceans - and necessitate hazardous and polluting solvents for their separation and purification processes. Altergon Italia’s production process, however, overcomes these drawbacks with the use of specifically generated, genetically modified microorganisms and relatively cheap and low-impact downstream processing techniques. In fact, the economic advantages are so great that the parent company is investing €40 million in Altergon Italia to expand its productivity to a worldwide scale.

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