Katwijk Chemie’s history spans over a century. We have been manufacturing Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and fine chemicals since 1914. Our name stems from a town on the North Sea shore in The Netherlands: Katwijk.
We have always been a family company: in ownership and management, but also with many family relations among our workforce. We have strong ties to the local community with the majority of personnel still living in Katwijk.
In spite of our strong local roots, we have always had an open and international business approach. We have been selling our products globally for more than 100 years.
Chemical manufacturing – then & now
Societeit voor Chemische Industrie Katwijk is incorporated in Katwijk, The Netherlands. Main activity: extraction of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) Theobromine from cocoa-shells. In World War I the demand for this product is high and production is expanded. Soon Caffeine is being produced as well, by treating Theobromine with dimethylsulfate. This is mainly supplied as an ingredient for beverages and largely exported to the United States.
Despite the economic crisis in the 1930s fine chemicals such as Benzoin and Benzil are developed, along with APIs such as Phenytoin and Phenytoin Sodium. The manufacture of pharmaceuticals in tablet and syrup form also begins during this period.
After 1945, the production of a number of sulphas is started while the range of anti-epileptics continues to expand.
Production of pharmaceuticals under our brand names Diphantoine (API Phenytoin) and Ethymal (API Ethosuximide) commences for the Dutch market.
The best-known branded product in the company’s history remains the product Tonicum “Katwijk”.
It is decided to end the extraction of Theobromine. Later in the ‘60s Katwijk Chemie expands the production of other chemical products, like Benzoin and Benzil. The APIs Sulphacetamide and Phenytoin are produced in a newly built production area. The range of anti-epileptics continues to expand, among them Ethosuximide.
In the 70s Katwijk Chemie starts manufacturing Valproic acid and derived salt forms, later developed into a major product group. Production continues to expand and modernize.
Katwijk Chemie acquires generic pharmaceutical company Samekofarma, expanding its activities in pharmaceutical finished products. Proprietary products such as Propymal are developed for the Dutch market. Increasing sales result in a new company, Katwijk Farma B.V. being established.
Katwijk Chemie acquires fine chemical company De Rover Chemie, and the production of its chemicals is transferred to Katwijk Chemie.
In 1992 Katwijk Chemie moves to a greenfield production site in the industrial area ‘t Heen, in Katwijk, The Netherlands. The newly built facility provides opportunities to modernize the chemical production, ensuring the highest quality, safety and consideration for the environment.
In 1996 Katwijk Farma B.V. – the production of pharmaceuticals – moves to a greenfield site in the Bioscience Park, in Leiden, The Netherlands.
In 2000 Katwijk Farma is sold to UBS Capital. It is later acquired by Apotex and divested to Aurobindo in 2018. The successor InnoGenerics (as of late 2020) went bankrupt in 2023. The assets were acquired by Ofichem Group and operations continued as Ofimedicine.
Katwijk Chemie celebrates its 100th anniversary with customers and employees.
Katwijk Chemie expands and modernizes with a new warehouse, an automated distillation system and new equipment for chemical synthesis.