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Germany’s DUDE CHEM lands €6.5M for sustainable pharma production

Picture credits: DUDE CHEM

The chemical processes have witnessed little innovation in the last century and most of today’s production still relies on inefficient manual processes. In addition, the sector produces hundreds of millions of tons of chemical waste and tens of billions in wasted costs annually. The global pharma industry worth €5.5 trillion is claimed to generate 48.55 metric tons, which is 55% more emissions than the automotive industry. 

In a recent development, the Berlin-based startup has closed €6.5 million in a seed funding round co-led by VC firms Vorwerk Ventures, which backed Resourcify, Sourcerie, and Planted, and b2venture. The round saw participation from other investors, including Frontline, Borski Fund that recently invested in CarbonX, Auxxo, and Push Ventures. 

Sustainable pharma-chemical production

DUDE CHEM will use the funding to expand its scientific team and reintroduce its first product to secure the supply chain for one of Europe’s leading generic drug producers. It will help drive the shift in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries toward sustainable, local production that is more cost-efficient.  

The patented chemical manufacturing processes are touted to reduce the CO2 emissions of drug development by up to 40% and the waste it creates by up to 70%. 

DUDE CHEM uses a network of manufacturers for next-generation pharmaceutical production in Europe, aiming to revolutionise the entire pharma-chemical industry. It builds on a strong momentum of bringing critical infrastructure, such as medicine manufacturing back to Europe. As a virtual manufacturer, they supply chemicals manufactured in a greener and more cost-efficient way.

Revolutionises pharma industry

Founded by Sonja Jost, Tino Mundt, Dr. Henriette Nowothnick, and Dr. Mathis Han in 2021 in Berlin, DUDE CHEM leverages in-house developed processes and advanced computational approaches, collaborating with a network of manufacturers. 

The company’s team consists of scientists in green chemistry and chemical data science who have previously developed and successfully validated their green recipes in the market.

DUDE CHEM originated with its roots in the scientific cluster of excellence, Catalysis UniSysCat (formerly UniCat), at the University of Technology Berlin. The company’s technology is built upon decades of research conducted in European research institutes.

“Our ambition is to make Europe a major hub for chemical-pharmaceutical production again and secure critical infrastructure. ” said Sonja Jost, co-founder and CEO of DUDE CHEM. “With our novel approach, we are able to demonstrate that by utilising the innovation power of Green Chemistry, we can significantly reduce costs as well. We’re thrilled to contribute to a higher resilience of Western supply chains and support a sustainable reindustrialisation.”

“DUDE CHEM uniquely combines deep chemical expertise with innovative technology to enhance environmentally friendly chemical production. We are happy to back such a skilled and passionate team,” said Dr. Dominik Steinkühler, Partner at Vorwerk Ventures. “Their proposition of repatriating supply chains at competitive costs while simultaneously diminishing the environmental footprint of chemical production is compelling.”  

“I was very impressed by the DUDE CHEM team’s industry experience, deep scientific background, and determination. The shift towards sustainability and environmentally-friendly practices is rapidly gaining momentum in the chemical industry, and in light of supply chain crises, there are strong incentives towards bringing critical infrastructure such as medicine manufacturing back to Europe,” said Anna Bosch, Principal at b2venture. 

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