Swiss speciality chemical player moves in on Asian cosmetic market

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Body odor Ciba

Ciba Speciality Chemicals has formed a joint venture with
India-based Virchow Drugs in an effort to expand its share of the
growing cosmetics market in Asia and further improve its position
in the region.

Ciba signed the joint venture agreement with Virchow Group, a leading Indian pharmaceutical company based in Hyderabad, this month. The agreement means that Ciba will be supply technology and expertise to upgrade the existing Virchow Triclosan manufacturing facilities.

Ultimately this move aims to up production levels of Triclosan and improve the quality of the ingredient.

Once the investment is completed the facility will be able to manufacture the compound at purity levels that are compliant with the United States Phamacopoeia specifications.

Triclosan is used in a variety of consumer and personal care products, primarily as a bacterial agent. It is included in everything from toothpaste and mouthwashes as a means of preventing oral infections, in deodorants to prevent body odour and in soaps to help prevent germ transfer.

Manufactured as a chlorinated aromatic compound, it is effective in reducing and controlling bacterial contamination in formulations, extending product shelf life and reducing the risk of toxicity or spoiling.

The aim of the project is to supply the rapidly expanding Asian market with US-grade Triclosan, thus guaranteeing the purity and supply of an ingredient that has proved difficult to source in this region.

Likewise, the companies claim that the deal will also enable them to comply with increasingly tough international environmental standards.

This point is particularly important as environmental and health pressure groups have been targeting Triclosan in recent years, claiming that its widespread use could pose risks to aquatic life as well as human health.

"This cooperation allows Ciba to further increase its position by expanding the offer of quality antimicrobial products in the Asian region where Ciba has a well established presence,"​ said Leonardo Harsch, global head of Ciba Specialty Chemicals' Detergent & Hygiene Business Line.

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