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Fisons Pharmaceuticals new R&D Building (Phase 1) in Loughborough in the late 1960s

February 7, 2019

Following on from my previous post and photo (earlier) of the old Holmes Chapel (Cheshire) site where Sodium Cromoglycate (FPL 670) was first synthesised, along with others members of the Organic Chemistry R & D section, in late 1968 I relocated to a brand-new building and laboratories (then just Phase 1) in Loughborough (see Photo) and the Organic Chemistry section was renamed ‘Medicinal Chemistry’. The other research sections from Holmes Chapel also moved there simultaneously. Further work on Sodium Cromoglycate continued in Loughborough, including the full toxicological data necessary for full clinical trials to lead up to acquiring the product licence for Sodium Cromoglycate (‘Intal’). Later, other related drug products were developed in Loughborough and the site was expanded. However, in 1996 poor market performance by the Fisons Group led to it being dissolved with the Holmes Chapel manufacturing facility being acquired by Aventis and latterly Sanofi-Aventis and the Loughborough R & D facility acquired by Astra then Astra-Zeneca. Sadly, Astra-Zeneca later decided to close the Loughborough (Charnwood) facility in 2011 with the loss of 1200 jobs, but Sanofi-Adventist continues manufacturing at Holmes Chapel in new adjacent premises.

Very sadly the old Holmes Chapel original building was run down and demolished after 2015. I have attached a separate report obtained from the internet about its demise.

However, on a more-positive note, the blockbuster Sodium Cromoglycate continued in popularity and is still used nowadays but mainly in nasal and eye-drop formulations.




Fisons Pharmaceuticals Phase 1 R & D labs in 1968 prior to site expansion.

In April 1972 Dr Roger Altounyan received the prestigious


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