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LANXESS subsidiary Saltigo sees surge in demand for active ingredient in mosquito repellents
Saltigo, a wholly owned subsidiary of specialty chemicals company LANXESS, is currently experiencing a marked increase in demand for icaridin, an active ingredient in insect repellents. “Since the start of the year, demand for the active ingredient icaridin, which we market under the name Saltidin, has risen very rapidly,” said Saltigo’s Managing Director Wolfgang Schmitz. Saltidin is used by numerous manufacturers worldwide in insect repellents. “Our plant capacity is currently being adapted to meet this increased demand. At the moment, we expect to see our sales of icaridin grow by 50 percent on last year.”
The sharp rise in demand is due to the spread of the Zika virus, first and foremost in Latin America. According to the latest reports, the virus has also now been found in blood samples of patients in a number of European countries. The patients in question had been infected while traveling overseas. The Zika virus is suspected of causing malformations in unborn children. If trips to affected areas are essential, North America’s CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommend insect repellents, including ones containing the active ingredient icaridin, for pregnant women, nursing mothers and children from the age of two.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is not advising against travel to areas where the disease is endemic, but it is recommending keeping the insects that transmit the disease at bay by covering the skin with clothing, protecting beds with mosquito nets and using mosquito repellents, with icaridin as product of choice. Detailed information on the Zika virus can be found, for example, on the website of the WHO.
Since April 2006, LANXESS’ fine chemicals business has been run by a separate legal entity, Saltigo GmbH, which is wholly owned by LANXESS. The business unit is a leading supplier in the field of exclusive custom synthesis. The compounds that Saltigo manufactures form the basis for a variety of agricultural and pharmaceutical active ingredients and specialty chemicals that also play an important role in daily life.
Saltigo is part of the Advanced Intermediates segment, which achieved total sales in fiscal 2014 of EUR 1.6 billion. The company, which is headquartered in Leverkusen and has production facilities in Leverkusen and Dormagen, employs around 1,200 staff worldwide.
LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 8.0 billion in 2014 and about 16,300 employees in 29 countries. The company is currently represented at 52 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals. LANXESS is a member of the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World) and FTSE4Good.