From plant to medicinal product

Sophisticated quality assurance measures ensure the consistently high quality of Bionorica medicinal products. The more that Bionorica can standardise a process, the greater the reproducibility of the quality of the results. The selection of the seeds, determination of locations for cultivating the plants, aspects such as fertilisation and pest control, as well as framework conditions for planting, harvesting the plants and their further processing into a medicinal product, are all subject to strict control. In addition, each batch that is harvested is documented through a detailed life history before it is further processed into a Bionorica medicinal product. Furthermore, the GACP standards (Good Agricultural and Collection Practices) are adhered to during the cultivation, harvesting and post-harvesting processes.

Everything starts with the seed

Our work starts long before cultivation.

Our work starts long before cultivation. Simply selecting the "right" plant can be highly complex from a pharmaceutical perspective. For example, thyme does not equate to thyme. There are numerous plants within each species that differ in their appearance, odour and composition in relation to their ingredients. Not every plant is suitable for the production of a medicinal product. Naturally occurring plants are cultivated and tested for their suitability. Once a plant is found that has the suitable ingredients, its seed is planted for our cultivation. Years of work are involved in the search and optimisation of the seed, which is carried out in close collaboration between universities and scientists at Bionorica SE.

Medicinal plants grow best in their natural habitat

We cultivate the plants where they are endemic, whenever possible.The next step involves determining the optimum location for cultivation. This process must consider factors such as soil type, climate and environmental effects. The general rule is that the selection of the location, cultivation of the seedlings, management of the cultivation and plant protection must be tailored to the individual requirements of the plant as it will only develop optimally under these conditions. We cultivate the plants where they are endemic, whenever possible. For example, rosemary "is happy" in Mallorca, gentian in France. The timing of the harvest also has an enormous effect on quality as the composition of the ingredients is not identical in each vegetative stage of the plant. In order to establish the correct time for harvest, the make-up of ingredients is determined using modern analytical equipment. In addition, other factors are considered, such as weather conditions or the age of the plants. This standardisation produces the quality and optimum mixture of the complex ingredients that is required by Bionorica.

Bionorica SE only works with partners in farming who fulfil the high demands of quality that are set by Bionorica and comply with the legal requirements (GACP guidelines). In addition to passing an audit and regular checks, these farmers must provide continuous documentation of all steps involved during cultivation (e.g. seed, cultivation of seedlings, planting out, fertilisation) and post-harvest processing (cleaning, chopping, drying).

High quality thanks to patented methods for further processing

 

The great care taken by Bionorica in the development of its own seed and during the controlled cultivation of the medicinal plants obviously also extends to harvesting the plants and processing them.

The great care taken by Bionorica in the development of its own seed and during the controlled cultivation of the medicinal plants obviously also extends to harvesting the plants and processing them. The subsequent drying method is decisive as it has a huge effect on the quality of the medicinal plant and its ingredients. We use up-to-date processes and techniques. For example, we have developed a specific vacuum drying method that preserves the high content of essential oils and flavonoids in the extract. This means that the complex, natural compounds in the plants are preserved across all steps in production, allowing them to develop their full efficacy in the medicinal product. These finishing methods are patented.

Respecting nature

Nature is our most important source of raw materials. It is self-evident that we treat her with the greatest respect in every sense. Sustainable processing methods, like the energy-saving method for concentrating liquid extracts developed in-house by Bionorica and environmentally friendly solvents like ethanol, ensure responsible handling of natural resources.