Paolo Tubertini, CEO of Olon, interviewed by Global Business Report about Olon case history, strategy, investments, future

Olon tracks its roots to 1907, but it was 10 years ago that the company was integrated as Olon Spa. Could you share the latest developments?

When I joined Olon at the beginning of the 2000s, Olon’s primary vision was to become a leader in the production of APIs and intermediates. Once we began to see this vision realized, we started looking at the bigger picture – our role in society and the company’s long-term future. This introspection led to a re-established mission for the company, redefining our role around two pillars: challenging and innovating the way we deliver science, and improving the lives of people. Today, we are one of the largest European suppliers of APIs for both the generic and CDMO markets. We are very active in high potency drugs such as cytotoxic substances, as well as antineoplastic compounds, immunosuppressive agents, hormones, antibiotics, and controlled substances. We have 11 manufacturing plants, eight of which are in Italy, one in Spain, one in the US, and one in India.

Olon made a couple of acquisitions in recent years, expanding its footprint in the US and India as well as in biotech technologies. Could you share the strategy behind these acquisitions?

Over the last few years, we have been investing heavily in both organic and inorganic growth. We acquired Infa Group back in 2016, doubling our generics line. Later in 2017, we acquired the Olon Ricerca Biosciences, a centre fully dedicated to R&D that is based in Ohio. It offers world-class contract research and manufacturing services and a broad array of capabilities with an integrated approach to chemical development. In 2018, Olon acquired Italy-based Capua BioServices, a CDMO company highly specialised in microbial manufacturing. Capua BioServices, based in Italy, expanded our capabilities in this technology and allowed us to take our offer to the food industry. Finally, we made a strategic acquisition in India to expand our integrated portfolio, services and technology platforms.

How does Olon leverage the dual model of API and CDMO supplier?

Traditionally, the pharma industry used to separate the API and CDMO businesses, but I believe there is a case for innovating around an integrated model and leveraging on the synergies created. For instance, we can translate our generics expertise in regulatory matters into the CDMO business. With 350 compounds sold worldwide, Olon has a deep knowledge of global regulations, which we want to inoculate across the structure of the organization, adding value to the CDMO business.

Reversely, we found an opportunity to borrow from the strengths of the CDMO business when it comes to equipment usage. CDMOs are strictly engaged with order agreements from a single customer, which often leads to the under-utilization of an asset. At Olon, we fill the remaining capacity with generic compounds, based on stock levels. In this way, we optimize asset use without compromising service availability to customers. Finally, Olon not only take the partner through the entire journey but is also able to share the responsibility of a product’s performance as part of a contract with transparency. In conclusion, we have the capability to play a crucial role in reaching the final success of the development process.

What do you think is Italy’s competitive advantage as an outsourcing destination for CMDO?

Italy is a leading producer in Europe and the pharma sector accounts for around €33 billion per year, a commensurate figure for a country of our size. Italy offers a rich ecosystem of universities, services, machinery producers, research technicians, analytical labs, all in proximity.

How has Olon contributed to the fight against the pandemic?

We are working as part of five different programs for the development of antiviral drugs. Since the pandemic, we have prioritized imminent health needs and we were able to coordinate with our partners to boost production for some product lines at the detriment of others: When one partner interested in an innovative antiviral API drugs, for instance, asked us to ramp up production at our Rodano site, our other customers showed tremendous understanding and supported us, knowing they can trust us for recouping the volumes when the emergency had passed. Meanwhile, they relied on stock supplies. The industry’s synchronic mobilization is an example of global collaboration and solidarity.

What is Olon’s current innovation focus?

At Olon, we first look at innovation in terms of innovating the way we make things – our production processes, technologies and market strategies. Within this wider program of innovation, we also see innovation as investing in new technologies, such as flow chemistry, enzymatic production and high potency drugs – a landmark space for Olon, where we have been present for 50 years. Personalized and precision medicine will require smaller drugs and therefore, smaller reactors, which will inadvertently increase prices, so we keep abreast of these developments. In 2021, we foresee a total capital investment of €65 million, which is roughly 12% of our sales.

Olon set out to reduce CO2, GHG, and water consumption by 50% between 2015 and 2025. Could you finalize with a few words on the company’s understanding of sustainable growth?

Because we set these targets early on, we are on track to meet them in the next few years. I believe it is important to let our stakeholders know of our commitments to the community and climate. We are constantly committed to reduce the impact on the environment where we operate and to promote a more sustainable API manufacturing approach. We have very aspiring targets to reduce consumption of water and energy, to decrease wastes and carbon dioxide emissions.

link: Global Business Reports – Paolo Tubertini (

Francesco Pizzocaro is the new Knight of Labor of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Industry.

It is a very special day for Olon Group. Francesco Pizzocaro, President of P&R, the Holding Company which Olon belongs to,has received the honour of Cavaliere del Lavoro by the President of Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella with an official ceremony hosted in Quirinale. We express our proud for this honour together with our biggest congratulations to him.

The Knighthood of the Republic is the highest honour established by the President of Republic to recognise the value of those Italian enterprises that have produced significative results in terms of work, social commitment, innovation, internationalization.

About the appointment as Cavaliere del Lavoro, Francesco Pizzocaro commented: “I am sincerely honored of having received this recognition that, as Italian citizen, I have always looked at one of the most coveted honours for professional life. I sincerely thank the President of Republic, those Italian Institution who awarded me with this prestigious title, all the collaborators with whom I have worked along my professional life. It is also thanks to them that today I can experience this beautiful and important event”.

Meet the Champions

Today ItalyPost Think Tank and Corriere Della Sera Economia promote a roundtable between Presidents of Italian Companies that are driving our economic and social growth, giving a key contribution to employment and development. As major player and global leader of API industry, we will be part of the discussion to share our vision and experience. Our President Roberta Pizzocaro will join the discussion on “Sustainability as a new Competitive Factor”, sharing actions, ideas, and models by which OLON is pursuing sustainability. OLON is constantly committed to reduce the impact on the environment and to promote a more sustainable API manufacturing approach. We have also very challenging targets to reduce consumption of water and energy, to decrease wastes and carbon dioxide emission. Roberta Pizzocaro will share OLON vision on sustainability overall.

Olon SpA 🏆 DWF International Awards

Olon Group has been awarded for the performance achieved in 2020, with a prestigious prize received by The British Chamber of Commerce during the latest BCCI Business Excellence Awards. Olon has been awarded for the international growth and the company global development.  

Paolo Tubertini, Managing Director, and Alfio Mason, CFO, received the recognition during the award ceremony. Together with Olon Group, a few companies have been awarded by BCCI as business excellence, a pool of leading companies from other industries with globally trusted brands.

“We are very proud of this Award” stated Paolo Tubertini, Olon Managing Director “Our successful entrepreneurial history let us turn into a worldwide leader, with an Italian headquarter and a global footprint. We will keep on investing and growing”.

“I give thanks to Tom Noad, President of British Chamber of Commerce, and to Jill Morris CMG, HM Ambassador. A special thanks to all the colleagues who gave contribution to this significant result” said Alfio Mason, Olon CFO.

Look at the video on Youtube to see the Ceremony moment:

Olon commitment for World Health Day

Today we celebrate #WorldHealthDay. Olon contributes to fight against global pandemics. We play a key role for the access to therapies, providing active principles that treat major global diseases such as tuberculosis, sickle cell disease, leprosy. This is key for global issues and it is a focus for Olon. Our mission is to challenge and innovate the way to deliver science, to improve the health of all human beings. For #WorldHealthDay we remind how relevant it is to believe in science as a solution to promote health and to improve the quality of #life. We are committed, as key player of the pharmaceutical supply chain, to be innovative every day, #researching and #developing.

Stay safe: believe in science!

Industria Felix Prize 2021

OLON has been awarded by the Prize Industria Felix 2021 to be one the best companies for its international vocation, performance of management and financial reliability.

IndustriaFelix is one of the most influencing events about economy and finance among Italian press. The Prize is a full recognition creativity, fervour and determination to those who demonstrate the capacity to build an enterprise producing significative results in terms of social wealth and economic progress.

The companies have been selected by a skilled Scientific Committee, after a journalist survey that analysed 142 thousand financial reports. Among these, the Commission has awarded the 43 most competitive corporations, based in Lombardia, considering management performance, financial reliability, sustainability. These corporations, including Olon, have received The Financial Management Honour of the Prize Industria Felix.

The mission of Industria Felix is promoting a network between valuable companies to promote the image of Italian competitiveness.

“We are proud to be awarded by this prestigious Prize that proves our key role, not only in the chemistry industry but also in the social and economic fabric of Lombardia Region” has commented Drssa Roberta Pizzocaro, President of Olon “Olon contributes to the competitiveness of Lombardia Region considering that our performance let us double our size over the last few years”.

Mahad plant becomes Olon

Olon S.p.A., a world leading Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) and generics supplier, announces today the closing of the acquisition of the manufacturing facility in Mahad, India.

After an intensive transition period started on September 4th, Olon India will start definitively all the activities the next April 1st according to the strategy of Olon S.p.A.

Paolo Tubertini, CEO of Olon, commented, “With this acquisition Olon achieved another successful milestone toward our growing strategy.”

Following the acquisition of Ricerca Biosciences’ Chemical Division in mid-2017 and Capua BioServices S.p.A. Рthe global provider of CDMO services in the field microbial fermentation in January 2019 Рwe have now completed a further step in our strategic plan. With this acquisition, Olon has successfully finalized its 3 years’ development plan, we will move to the next target: to play an important role in the manufacturing of biologics API’s.

The CEO of OLON India Mr Claudio Massari, told: “A new most important journey will start for Mahad site with the new company Olon API India Pvt Ltd. I am looking forward to the future of this company in India as one of Company leader in the API manufacturing not only for the Indian market but for the entire world. Thanks to the excellent facility, strong experienced and talented people, I’m proud to lead Olon India and sure of the long success”.

After the carve out from Sandoz, as part of the asset purchase agreement, the parties have committed to sign a long-term supply contract to guarantee continuous supply of products manufactured in Mahad. The plant’s main product is Rifampicin Рused to treat several types of bacterial infections, including tuberculosis Рand its derivate.

Olon intends to invest in the site and pursue business development opportunities to optimize the plant’s utilization and expand its customer base.

The new company Olon API India Pvt Ltd. has already launched important investment project, establishing a new head office in Mumbai, hiring additional people, improving the organization and Indian market presence and beginning a Technology Transfer introducing new production to the Mahad site.

The Mahad site, which supplies products to Sandoz, a division of the Novartis Group,is an established and reputable API manufacturing facility in India with a reaction capacity of 580 m3 and approximately 270 employees. This site provides a number of lifesaving medicines to the Indian healthcare system and patients around the world, with a 2018 turnover equally divided between Indian and foreign markets.

About Olon

OLON is an Italian company leader in the production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) via synthesis and biological processes for the generic market and for contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) requirements.

Complementary to its activities is the Dossier Unit, whose team of dedicated professionals work on the development of the Finished Drug Formulations (FDFs) and the preparation of the Common Technical Documents (CTD) dossier.

Turnover in 2018 of US$ 400 million, with more than 230 APIs (20 under CMO) for the Generic market and 33 chemical intermediates (under CMO).

Olon is holder of about 155 active US DMFs and 69 granted CoS. and is able to handle several particular process technologies, such as Fluorination, Carbonylation and Fermentation.

With 2000 employees, of which 200 alone are in the specialized R&D team, Olon offers complete integrated packages and services to support full development of APIs based on strong knowledge in both Chemical and Biological process, all in full cGMPs and with regulatory coverage.

Headquartered in Rodano (Milan, Italy), Olon has 10 manufacturing facilities – 8 located in Italy, 1 in Spain and 1 in USA, all compliant with international requirements, and 3 branch offices in Hamburg (Germany), Florham Park NJ (USA) and Shanghai (China).

The manufacturing sites are regularly inspected by the most important national and international Authorities, and regularly audited by our partners and customers. The facilities are FDA-inspected and self-identified under GDUFA.√ó

Olon S.p.A. is a worldwide leader in the development and production of APIs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients).
The ideal partner for custom synthesis and contract manufacturing projects.


Mahad plant becomes Olon

April 1, 2019Olon announces the completion of the acquisition of Mahad plant in India.READ MORE

OLON at DCAT 2019