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Mikromol at 25

When two entrepreneurial recent graduates decided in 1993 to begin producing their own pharmaceutical reference materials, they started down a path that 25 years later has created a new byword for excellence in pharmaceutical synthesis. Dr. Günter Funk and Dr. Hans Zimmermann, friends since their teenage years, realised there was an opportunity for them to set a new definition for quality in the pharmaceutical reference standards market, and Mikromol was born.

From the initial handful of employees working out of premises in Teltow and synthesising their first ketoprofen products in university labs because of space constraints, the team grew within three years to eight people, and developed a reputation for quality and figuring out complex reference standard solutions.

Having worked with LGC as a distributor for its product range for several years, Mikromol celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2003 by becoming the pharmaceutical mainstay of the LGC Standards family, in an acquisition that was a landmark for both parties. Reference materials are needed to fully characterise drug compounds and formulations and are therefore an essential component of regulatory submissions and quality control, so Mikromol’s expertise in pharmaceutical synthesis was a crucial addition to the LGC offering.

As Dr Derek Craston, then Head of LGC’s Pharmaceutical Services Division, said, “By combining high quality synthesis and measurement, we will be able to provide more comprehensive and value-added services to our pharmaceutical clients.”

Mikromol became LGC’s first reference material manufacturer outside the UK, and in turn LGC provided the global platform and reputation, as the UK’s National Measurement Laboratory, to push the German business’ growth to new levels. LGC’s worldwide reach and marketing enabled the Mikromol team to focus even more on building up their catalogue and developing new reference materials, says Funk. “As a large partner, LGC were able to get materials distributed more widely for us, and were able to invest where things were working.”

Mikromol flourished under the partnership, and today numbers more than 150 colleagues at the newly expanded Luckenwalde site, with professional state-of-the-art laboratories and cutting-edge bottling, warehousing and distribution facilities. The Mikromol product portfolio has also expanded exponentially, and now numbers in excess of 5000 impurity, API and excipient reference standards for more than 1000 API families.

But there is no resting on laurels for the scientists that make up the Mikromol family today, who constantly strive to synthesise new reference standard solutions to meet new impurity demands and develop ever more production process accuracy. The passion of their team, says Zimmermann, means that the crucial work they do to support the industry's accurate measurement “is truly interesting for our colleagues.” 

Dr. Günter Funk and Dr. Hans Zimmermann in 2003Today, after 25 years, Mikromol has an exceptional depth of knowledge and skill in the world of pharmaceutical reference standards for impurities analysis, which supports our constant efforts to help you create ever better, safer medicines. With fully dedicated analytical and synthesis departments at hand, we offer one of the biggest portfolios of reference standards available for the pharmaceutical industry. We also provide a Certificate of Analysis with a market-leading level of detail, and expert support and advice about technical applications, whether for pharmacopoeial methods or internally developed protocols.

In choosing Mikromol, you choose a reference standard certified to the top quality you need and manufactured in an ISO 17025/17034 accredited facility; you choose a standard that can be utilised universally across methods to support your highest testing accuracy; you choose thorough, transparent documentation; you choose a history of expertise and superlative depth of experience, all to support your testing programmes. 

As for the future? “We will keep improving, making the products better and increasing our portfolio,” says Funk. With so much achieved in the 25 years of its life to date, it is exhilarating to envision where Mikromol may go in the next 25.

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