Advantic, from a laboratory to an industrial scale
Advantic is a Polish company operating in the food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. It deals with the production of amino acid chelates, raw materials for the production of dietary supplements and the food industry, but also consulting in the technology of raw materials production and physicochemical, qualitative and quantitative analysis of food substances. It carries out its production in the Experimental Plant of the Wrocław Technology Park, which provides unique production facilities dedicated to the life science industry.
Advantic was founded thanks to the experience of its founders in working with pharmaceutical and food raw materials and the transfer of knowledge from the academic environment to business.
– I am a chemist by profession, specializing in organic and materials chemistry. I still work at the University of Warsaw, conducting various research projects related to nanotechnology, pharmacy and food chemistry. The competences gained thanks to this, related to the techniques of obtaining and producing pharmaceutical or biologically active substances, allowed for the establishment and development of Advantic’s business – comments Michał Wójcik, PhD., managing director of the company.
The company’s activity began 3 years ago. The starting point was the development by the company’s team of solutions to problems faced by enterprises producing food, dietary supplements and pharmaceuticals. The company entered the market by offering them not only the raw material necessary for the production, but also additional support in the form of consulting. This gave us a competitive advantage. The company started its activity with the implementation of several such projects – they related to, among others, advanced yeast and mineral raw materials in finished products. A comprehensive approach to customer needs and meeting their problems led to the next stage of the company’s development. The number of implemented projects began to increase, and their scale also changed.
– We solve our clients’ problems thanks to the fact that we have the knowledge of how to produce raw materials with specific parameters that meet their needs. At one point, we decided that we needed a space where we could produce them ourselves, so that we could provide customers with finished products, not just a way to prepare them. We focused on the production of raw materials that simply cannot be found anywhere else on the market. The WPT Experimental Plant turned out to be an ideal place for the development of such activities. This is the only place in Poland with appropriate research, development and production facilities, dedicated to our industry, where we can use the production line we need modularly. Of course, we conduct research activities in our laboratory, in cooperation with the Center for Biological and Chemical Sciences of the University of Warsaw, but it was the cooperation with WPT that allowed us to introduce our projects on a production scale. At the Experimental Plant we can check whether the technologies developed in the laboratory can be used on a larger scale and actually scale them up. We are also a member of the Nutribiomed Cluster, whose coordinator is WPT– explains Wójcik.
Advantic not only expands the scale of its operations, but also expands its commercial network. The company’s business model is based on identifying potential customer problems and offering them solutions that optimize their products and production processes technologically or in terms of costs. The constant development of the company is also possible thanks to an expert team that has gained its experience in the USA and Germany, among others. Currently, it consists of 8 people, also supported by the team of the Experimental Plant. The fact that the company sets high-quality standards as its priority value also affects gaining the trust of customers by the company.
– We only trade raw materials and solutions that we are able to analyze using the tools that are within our reach. Thanks to the cooperation with the WPT Experimental Plant and the Center for Biological and Chemical Sciences of the University of Warsaw, their range is very wide. During the implementation of projects, we break down the raw materials that are the subject of them into prime factors. We try to get to know their parameters and, based on the results of our own research, develop a raw material of better quality for the customer than that of our competitors. On the market, we often encounter the problem that distribution companies do not pay attention to the issues of product analysis, its purity or compliance with EU and national law. We give our clients a guarantee that the raw materials we supply are examined, tested and verified in various types of applications – adds the managing director .
Advantic plans to constantly develop production at the WPT Experimental Plant and to expand the portfolio of implemented projects. The company’s goal is to scale-up its own processes in order to increase production capacity. Currently, it focuses on the production of mineral products – the production of amino acid chelates, i.e. forms of minerals that are best absorbed by the human body and are as natural as possible for it. They are used, for example, in the production of magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc supplements. The company is also working on raw materials that are used to obtain tablets that allow the gradual release of the mineral from the supplement.
– Currently, there are only a few plants producing minerals like us. It is an opportunity for us to expand the scope of our activities, which we are already doing. We export our raw materials to Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium and Ukraine – adds Michał Wójcik.
Production of mineral resources in the time of the coronavirus
– It is worth emphasizing that the industry in which we operate is developing. Its stability is also evidenced by the fact that the situation related to the coronavirus pandemic increases the demand for the raw materials we produce. One of our flagship products is zinc bisglycinate, used in antiviral drugs to fight, for example, the herpes virus. Due to the current economic situation, the demand for them has definitely increased. The demand is so great that at this moment we are contacted by companies from Germany, Switzerland or France looking for alternative sources of supply. Currently, together with the staff of the Experimental Plant, we are trying to meet this demand and use the increased processing capacity to deliver our product to the market. – comments Wójcik.
Advantic’s managing director explains that the enormous interest in zinc bisglycinate has been driven by numerous scientific work on zinc’s anti-viral properties.
– There are scientific publications proving that increasing the intracellular concentration of zinc ions can effectively disturb the RNA replication of various viruses, including poliovirus, herpes and influenza virus. Preparations containing zinc were also effective in shortening the duration of these diseases. Of course, at the moment there is no research on whether zinc will affect the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), but it is not without significance that it may interfere with the other six coronaviruses, including the primary SARS and four coronaviruses. which cause a cold. About a month ago, the prestigious medical journal Lancet published an article entitled “Reducing mortality from 2019-nCoV: host-directed therapies should be an option.” Its authors and commentators recommended the use of zinc and other formulations and with metals as safe, cheap and readily available preparations that can be used as adjuvants to monotherapy or as a combination of therapies with, among others, lopinavir, ritonavir, interferon, monoclonal antibodies, etc. combating 2019-nCoV.
In the case of amino acid chelates, also the zinc bisglycinate produced by us, we also have excellent solubility and bioavailability. Additionally, the formulations of amino acid chemicals developed by us, including zinc bisglycinate, type TR (taste reduced), are characterized not only by excellent solubility and digestibility, but also by a pleasant aftertaste. This is crucial, in particular in products such as lozenges, inhalants or minerally fortified chewing gums. – explains Michał Wójcik.
The company’s director also emphasizes that, even without the coronavirus epidemic, that zinc is one of the most important trace elements that has a significant impact on the immune functions of organisms.
– The zinc economy affects all organs and cell types, making up an essential component of about 10% of the human proteome and involving hundreds of enzymes and transcription factors. We can speak of a zinc deficiency in up to a quarter of the population in developing countries. Therefore, a balanced zinc metabolism in the body is an extremely important factor that can influence antiviral immunity, especially as zinc deficient populations are often the most vulnerable to viral infections such as HIV or hepatitis C. In summary, this is the moment for us to expand our contact networks and the range of our offer. The facilities provided by WPT – the line of the Experimental Plant and its specialized team – allow us to implement the even three-fold increase in the number of orders. This confirms our belief that we have chosen a good place for development. – podsumowuje dr Wójcik.
Advantic’s development history shows that WPT is a place for business of any scale. Our facilities, more specifically the Experimental Plant, allowed the company to enter the next level of development..