Figures for started and completed projects are a bit lower than in 2016, because we had more long term drug discovery and process development FTE projects than short term custom synthesis projects. In contrast, the number of projects not completed successfully has increased. In 2017 the complexity of the projects that our clients gave us was unusual. We handled metabolites never seen before, elusive impurities and unstable compounds. Unstable compounds are probably the worst part of the business, because you can spend a great deal of time and effort developing the route and performing the chemistry, just to realize the compound you are trying to obtain cannot be purified or even obtained without breaking down… Due to this our success rate has lowered a bit, from 97% to 93%.
But in contrast our delay rate has improved. Only 10 projects were completed with delay and as usual, none of those projects was related with the deadline of critical materials for in vivo assays. When our clients requested the material to be delivered to third parties, we met every single deadline. No surprises.
Our longest route in 2017 was 15 steps. Not for a very big or complex molecule, but for a new chemical entity that required the development of new methods and starting with really simple raw materials.
The number of products delivered was exactly 500, with the usual distribution of small quantities in the hit to lead and lead optimization phases, some grams for advanced stages or in vivo studies, and so on. A good year!