Raimonds Auzins, Head of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients Manufacturing Division at Grindeks, has been working at the company for 15 years. He started his career at Grindeks as a laboratory assistant, but over the years, with persistent work, he has been promoted to the position of Head of division and now leads a team of 150 employees. Keep reading to find out what daily life looks like for Raimonds and how active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) are produced at Grindeks!
“How did it all start? 15 years ago, when I finished the first year of the Faculty of Materials Science and Applied Chemistry at Riga Technical University, I knew that it was necessary not only to learn the theory but also to practice it. My teacher was the one who suggested I come to Grindeks,” says Raimonds and reveals that very soon after working with chemical technologies it became clear to him that this was his calling. For his career growth he thanks his colleagues and the work environment that allowed him to grow.
Work specifics and challenges
“The goal of the Production department is routine,” Raimonds Auzins explains that only routine production can guarantee predictable and stable results. All manufactured products must comply with the EU or other countries’ Good Manufacturing Practice standards, so it is important to approach production methodically and precisely.
As such, Raimond’s responsibilities include ensuring this complex, many-sided and crucial routine. He talks about his daily workday as follows: “There is no such thing as a typical weekday because no day is the same. My responsibilities include solving non-standard situations.” This is also the biggest challenge in his work – despite the circumstances and obstacles, to ensure the execution of the production plan. He emphasizes that only by working together as a team and focusing on the same goal we will be able to achieve the desired results. “I would say that manufacturing at Grindeks is the heart of everything. I can’t think of a department that we don’t have a cooperation with. We cannot be by ourselves for a single second, and we must learn how to work together professionally.”
Manufacturing – industry that continues to develop
When talking about technologies and digitalization, Raimonds believes that Grindeks is comparable to the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies. “We are certainly not beginners in this field, because for 4 years we have been seriously thinking about digitalization, which will make various production-related functions more convenient and simpler. At the moment, our main goal is to give up the usage of paper as much as possible and come up with digital solutions.”
Grindeks is a company that never stops developing and growing. There are currently forty-six new APIs under development at Grindeks. It is clear that bringing even one new pharmaceutical ingredient into production comes with logistical and capacity challenges, but forty-six new APIs will certainly test Grindeks’ ability to evolve and adapt. Raimonds comments: “I am sure that this will be a challenge for me, the department and for all at Grindeks. The plan is to take the next step and produce APIs on a new level. It is an ambitious plan, but we are not afraid of it. You do not have to see the whole road to take the first step!”
Our social responsibility – environment protection
Being sustainable is important to us, and the environmentally friendly approach starts at the very beginning of API and medicine development. Hazardous and environmentally harmful chemicals are replaced by “green” or more environmentally friendly chemicals. We also always see if these chemicals could be reused. After syntheses, a lot of waste remains, and from all the waste something can be recovered in recycling cycles. “We try to recycle and reuse everything as much as possible and once waste is minimized, it needs to be properly discarded. For more than 10 years, we have a wastewater treatment plant at Grindeks, where water is microbiologically cleaned from contamination.”