Croma Pharma Visit, Vienna

By Megan Close / 01 Nov 2019

Aesthetics tours Croma Pharma’s headquarters and explores the company’s history and plans for the future

“Do you know where Croma got its name from?”, asked founder and pharmacist Gerhard Prinz. “I have three children; Corinna, Martin and Andreas,” he explained, “I wanted all of their names to be reflected in the company name so took their initials and Croma was formed.” Now, more than 40 years after its creation, the business still has a large focus on family, with both sons working across the management board.

Last month saw the relaunch of the Princess hyaluronic acid dermal fillers, which are now known as Saypha. With a portfolio comprising PDO threads, a platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) system, two skincare lines and more developments on the horizon, Croma opened its doors to the UK press to share its history and plans for the future.

The Croma headquarters is based in Leobendorf, Austria, and is housed across three floors. There are more than 500 employees worldwide and the site manufactures between 5,000-7,000 of Saypha dermal filler syringes per hour. The company uses a fully automated manufacturing process, has strict sterilisation requirements and has developed a proprietary hyaluronic acid crosslinking technology.

Aesthetics journalist Megan with Croma Pharma founder Gerhard Prinz

Stefanie Höhn, director of corporate communications, explained, “We try to limit the potential negative influence of the environment during the process and therefore the requirement of people by having a high automation level throughout. To reduce the potential for human-error, individuals who check the fillers through the microscope during the final stages are only allowed to work for 20 minutes before they are swapped. During employees’ training we also give them a ‘fake’ product to ensure they are able to spot the different crosslinking between products. It’s a very stringent process, but one we believe works particularly well and gives us fantastic, safe products.”

To further support this, one of the floors within the building is dedicated to delivering a sufficient and clean air flow. The air that feeds into the 1,000m2 clean room is changed 30 times per hour.

Prinz told Aesthetics, “We produce 50 to 200L batch sizes, which, from my knowledge, is significantly more than other manufacturers out there. This means that we can provide competitive cost of goods and ensure consistently high-quality products.”

He continued, “But a company is only as good as its employees – it’s of upmost importance to me that my people are happy. Every fortnight, I take a walk around our office and talk to everyone to make sure they are happy and catch up on the work they are doing. We also have a resident doctor onsite, a state-of the art gym and fitness classes, and we also work closely with Light for the World charity, which aim to restore sight to blind people in low-income countries.”

The second half of the trip saw a visit to Yuvell Clinic, one of Croma’s official partner clinicsHere, Croma conducts a large number of clinical trials for its products and use it as a training centre too. Journalists were also invited to trial the Universkin serum, a customised skincare regime designed for individual patients by their practitioner.

So, what can be expected from Croma in the future? Prinz said, “Next year we will be releasing a new toxin and that will be a huge step as we will have a very complete and broad portfolio. One thing is for sure, we will never compromise on quality for any of our future products.”

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