In our slogan, we use the term “Research Grade Lipids”. This is a play with words rather than an attempt to create a new quality of lipids. The essence of this is that we manufacture lipids which are highly pure, meaning that they have high chemical (isomeric or enatiomeric) purity. Traditional classifications of biochemical reagents with respect to chemical purity are e.g. “analytical grade”, “reagent grade” (alternatively “ACS grade”), and “technical grade”.
Analytical grade purity
Standard chemical purity of our products is 99%, making them “analytical grade”. Some of our products are, however 98% or 95% pure, which would make them “reagent grade” (even if it would very often still be used for analytical purposes). Less common for us is a chemical purity of under 90%, which would normally be considered “technical grade”.
Larodan’s production is small in scale. Normal manufacturing batches are either measured in hundreds of milligrams or a several grams. Some batches may even be made in micrograms. However, on occasion we also manufacture in the kilogram scale, typically as custom synthesis projects.
Our standard manufacturing method is by way of chemical synthesis. We use simple starting materials and create complex compounds through a large variety of chemical reactions. Sometimes these reactions are enzymatic, making use of the naturally occurring enzymes that cerate lipids in biological systems. These enzymes are sometimes collectively referred as lipases, including e.g. phospholipases and oxylipases. Purification steps are performed at various stages of the manufacturing process to reach a desired chemical purity. As an alternative to chemical synthesis and enzymatic reactions, lipids can be produced by distillation or extraction from natural sources, either because it is the most efficient method of production at scale, or since it is the only realistic way of creating the compound. This kind of manufacture typically also requires multiple advanced, and sometimes elaborate, purification steps.
Our facility consists of suites of state-of-the art chemistry labs. Since we were founded in 1963, modern equipment can be found mixed with heritage pieces – many still in use – which symbolizes decades of lipids manufacture. We moved to our current facility in June 2022, in conjunction with adding updated analytical equipment to be able to serve (almost) every need from our customers.
Though our manufacturing operation is quite self-sufficient, we are also engaged in a few collaborations with external partners. As an example, for NMR analysis, we depend on a long-term collaboration with one of the leading facilities in our part of the world. We also place manufacture of certain compounds with academic groups and commercial specialty synthesis labs, that have unique interests or competencies.
Our daily focus is on manufacturing compounds for our catalog. We constantly make new compounds to be added to that catalog. Quite often, these new products are the result of requests from our customers.
We also offer custom synthesis of compounds within our area of competence, special sized batches of cataloged compounds, or custom modifications of standard compounds. Don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any inquiries.