At Symeres, we’re always looking to support our clients with novel and innovative ideas. To realize these ideas, not only on the laboratory scale but also in our plants in Weert and Prague, we need to continually think of innovative solutions to produce your drug candidates. To aid our API development team with the implementation of these innovative technologies, Dr. André de Vries joined our ranks as of January 1, 2022.
Born below sea level in Flevoland, the Netherlands, André, like many other kids, dreamt of a career as a professional soccer player. His life took a different turn though, and after high school, he moved to Groningen to study organic chemistry. During his PhD, he worked with Prof. Ben Feringa on a new class of chiral ligands for efficient asymmetric catalysis. After post-doctoral research at the University of Oxford, he joined DSM in the Netherlands in July 1998, where he started his career by investigating and improving existing processes for chemical products already on the market. Through that, he encountered novel technologies, such as transition-metal catalysis, biocatalysis, and flow chemistry. “Establishing a new chemical route that also works in the plant always excited me,” says André. “It feels like I am doing something useful for society.”
André moved on to become Commercial Director of Innosyn Route Scouting Services, a DSM department that later became the fully independent company InnoSyn. His extensive knowledge and experience of novel technologies allowed him to have in-depth discussions with clients about the scale-up of their drug candidates. “If timelines permit, ideally, the chemical challenge at hand is approached in a technologically agnostic way; the molecule to be made determines which of the synthetic technologies, such as bio- or chemocatalysis, is the best fit for purpose.”
At Symeres, our Weert and Prague plants are expanding their capabilities in response to the continuous requests from our customers. Adding further innovative technologies to our API development program will allow us to offer a more complete package for the production of drug candidates. André will be responsible for identifying and implementing innovative scale-up technologies. He will also be a first-contact person for companies requiring these approaches for the scale-up route of their drug candidate. “I’m excited to start this new adventure at Symeres and very much looking forward to meeting you!”