St. Louis, MO
In a press release immediately following a publication in Science some say heralds the end of synthetic organic chemistry as we know it, a spokesperson from fine chemicals manufacturer and distributor Sigma-Aldrich stated that the firm is introducing a new line of artisan-prepared synthetic building blocks in Q3 of this year. The new product line, termed Arti-Blocks™, likely aims to retain customers in the face of on-demand, automated synthesis. In addition, the company announced plans to open a new production facility in Waltham, MA, which is expected to employ 400 scientists, technicians, and administrators.
Jamie Carmichael, spokesman for the firm began, "Sigma-Aldrich aims to provide new, innovative products to its customer base. As such, we are proud to introduce our artisanal organic building block product line. Customers can rest easy knowing that their coupling reagents, precursors, and other synthons were generated using traditional borosilicate glassware, the old-fashioned way."
Carmichael continued, "In addition, we are now offering Arti-Plus™ reagents, which, in addition to being handcrafted by our chemists, and purified in small batches of no more than 50 grams via flash chromatography."
"These products include certification indicting they have been handmade by real chemists, and not by any automated system."
As of press time, the company had issued a second press release indicating that their St. Louis production plant would be "undergoing significant reorganization with regard to personnel." The announcement did not indicate how many jobs would be affected, but did state that "innovative, and stream-lining automation solutions" were planned for late FY15. Analysts have generally responded favorably to the announcement, with some predicting the firm's second quarter earnings will increase by as much as 5.4% over Q1.