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Apollo Scientific Home - About Apollo
ABOUT APOLLO
MISSION STATEMENT
To be a leading supplier and manufacturer of research chemicals to the global market, providing a quality product on time, every time.
APOLLO SCIENTIFIC - A HISTORY
Initially established in 1993 as M&G Chemicals Limited, the company was renamed as Apollo Scientific Limited in 1996 coinciding with its move to a 170 sq.metre business centre in Stockport (near Manchester, England).
By carrying out the sales and marketing in the UK and Europe for a number of small scale international manufacturers Apollo continued to expand. That year also saw the production of Apollo's first technically detailed catalogue of fluorochemicals, listing over 1000 items containing at least one or more fluorine atoms. Worldwide demand for these products grew along with Apollo's reputation as a supplier of competitively priced, high quality fluorochemical products. Apollo had found its main niche.
Why fluorochemicals? It was clear to the staff at Apollo that research interest into incorporating the fluorine atom into organic molecules was growing strongly. The presence of the fluorine atom can have a major influence on the physical and biological properties and chemical reactivity of an organic molecule, as witnessed by today's amazingly diverse range of commercial products containing one or more C-F bonds (agrochemicals, anaesthetics, fire-extinguishing agents, refrigerants, textile chemicals, dyes, surfactants, inert oils and lubricants, elastomers, plastics, liquid crystals, etc.). However, it was in the area of healthcare in particular that the demand for fluorochemicals has grown most strongly. Replacing hydrogen (for example) in a molecule by the fluorine atom (which has a similar steric size, but is much more electronegative) can have a dramatic effect on biological activity. It is not surprising, therefore, that many pharmaceutical products containing fluorine have been approved for use as antibiotic, anticholesterol, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antiviral and anticancer drugs.
Recognising this increase in demand for fluorochemicals from medicinal chemists at pharmaceutical companies, Apollo concentrated its efforts into offering from stock an ever-increasing range of novel and difficult-to-source fluorine-containing compounds.

Whaley Bridge premises
By the time of Apollo's next move in 1998 to a 350 sq.metre site in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire, the company had grown to ten staff and a turnover approaching 1.5 million pounds. Its fluorochemicals catalogue that year listed nearly 4000 compounds.
As the millennium came to a close Apollo began to establish strong relationships with a number of key manufacturing companies in China.
With the benefit of many visits to production facilities in China, reliable, high quality producers were located. With agreements then in place, when an intermediate sourced from Apollo showed potential it was then possible to offer it in quantities exceeding 100Kg. Indeed, one of these relationships in particular enabled Apollo to become a significant supplier of fluoroaromatic compounds into the European liquid crystal market.
In 2001 Apollo decided it required its own small scale manufacturing in the UK. Renting 600 sq.metres of modern laboratories and offices on the Hickson and Welch site in Castleford and recruiting highly skilled PhD chemists, Apollo quickly established a strong reputation for manufacturing novel and interesting fluorochemical and heterocyclic building blocks, aimed primarily at the pharmaceutical research scientist. Working in up to 20 litre glassware, Apollo's manufacturing strengths have included Grignard technology, Balz-Schiemann and most classical and modern chemistry.

Apollo Scientific Bredbury site
Throughout this time Apollo built on its success as a major supplier of fluorochemicals by diversifying into other non-fluorinated compounds, driven by identifying interesting functionality. Catalogues of organic intermediates and biochemical reagents were produced. Apollo continued to grow.
By the time of Apollo's next move in 2002 to a 1000 sq.metre site (extended to 1350 sq.metres in 2007) in Bredbury, Stockport, the company had grown to thirty staff and a turnover of nearly 4.5 million pounds. Its fluorochemicals catalogue that year listed around 7000 compounds.
In 2003 Central Glass Co., Ltd of Japan (http://www.cgc-jp.com/) acquired a 33% holding in Apollo.
Central Glass has a history of over 70 years of commercial production of a wide range of fluorochemical products, including Trifluoromethanesulphonic acid and its anhydride, chiral and achiral fluoroorganic products, speciality fluorinated gases and fluoropolymers. Through Central Glass Apollo now had access to pilot plant and full scale production facilities running to ISO and GMP standards.
The next four years saw Apollo grow rapidly as it expanded its range of products, produced larger catalogues, increased its levels of stocks significantly and recruited more technical staff. Typically annual turnover during this period grew by nearly 25%. By 2007 Apollo's turnover had exceeded 12 million pounds. With over 50 staff (nearly half graduates in chemistry to first degree or PhD level) Apollo now offered over 42,000 compounds (including over 12,000 fluorochemicals) through its website and catalogues. The Bredbury site was certified to the ISO9001 standard towards the end of the year.

Apollo Scientific Denton site
In early 2008 a major expansion of Apollo's facilities took place. This added about 2200 sq.metres of warehouse and laboratory space (including a dedicated analytical laboratory) and a further 150 sq.metres of office space at an additional new site in Denton, Stockport. Even with the closure of the laboratories at Castleford this still meant Apollo's capacity for its own production had doubled. This was essential to meet the increasing outsourcing research chemical demands of the pharmaceutical companies. With this new, much larger warehousing Apollo could now look to improve its service to its many thousands of customers throughout the world by increasing its levels of inventory and further improving its dispatch infrastructure – all contributing to a huge increase in the number of same day dispatches.
At the end of March, Central Glass increased its shareholding in Apollo to 91%. This enabled Apollo to position itself more strategically in the research and development marketplace.
Central Glass had previously acquired the R&D company Synquest Laboratories Inc. (Florida, USA) back in 2002. Synquest is a manufacturer of a range of speciality fluorochemicals, including gases and aliphatic compounds with particular strengths in high pressure autoclave work and precise distillations. It distributes a catalogue listing over 3500 fluorochemicals.
Also in 2008, Central Glass acquired the Girindus site in Kuensebeck and established Central Glass Germany GmbH. This provided a European unit enabling process development and upscaling from grams to tons, for active ingredients and intermediates, certified for cGMP production. This further increased Apollo’s capability to provide a full “in house” service on a project from initial very early stage research right through to commercialisation.

Over the next four years, as growth continued, Apollo continued to stick to its original principles of a dedicated personal service to the customer whilst also continuing to add to the product range and increasingly invest in stock. This all contributed to turnover exceeding 20 million pounds by the end of 2012, at which point staff numbers had increased to just over 70 employees and product portfolio had reached 50,000 compounds. During this period, the Denton facility also achieved ISO accredited status being certified to ISO9001 standard for warehousing and distribution, as well as being awarded ISO14001 accreditation for its Health and Safety and Environmental Policy.
This year has seen Central Glass acquire a full share holding in Apollo which will further enhance Apollo’s position in the marketplace for the future years ahead. Current developments will see Apollo working alongside Synquest to further develop the catalogue range and will provide Apollo with a stocking location and customer service point within the US, enabling Apollo to become even more accessible outside the European market. The acquisition has also further enhanced Apollo’s technical expertise and capabilities which will enable increased “in-house” production to develop and successfully bring to market a range of novel intermediate compounds for addition to the product portfolio.
With Apollo, Synquest and Central Glass working much more closely, the three companies can help each other with the production and marketing of their fluorochemical product ranges throughout the world, from research quantities in the laboratories to full scale pilot plant production. This will enable supporting projects through from inception to commercial realisation with the same individual service that the customer has come to expect. Apollo can certainly look back with pride at its rapid growth and successful history whilst also looking forward to a successful future in collaboration with the Central Glass group of companies.
LOCATION
Link to map showing locations of our two sites near Manchester.
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Product focus on triflic derivatives
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