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About us

Our company history

Selectchemie was founded in 1969 in Zurich, Switzerland. From the beginning, the strategic focus was on quality,  stable partnerships with international suppliers and closeness to our customers, as it still is today. Find out more about our origin and development.

Management around 1980, left to right: W. Gassmann (Director Pharma International), W. B. Preibisch (Founder and CEO), H. Müller (Co-founder, Director Pharma Switzerland)

Swiss solutions since 1969

Selectchemie AG was founded on March 6, 1969, by Walter Preibisch, Hugo Müller, André Baudet and others for the purpose of trading in animal feed additives. In September 1969, it moved into the company headquarters on Etzelstrasse in Zurich, where its headquarters are located to this day. In 2022, the headquarters were renovated, modernized and adapted to changing needs and company growth. There are now around 80 employees in Zurich and a total of around 130 employees at locations in 17 countries around the world working for Selectchemie.

Closeness to customers and a stable global supplier network have been a strategic focus of Selectchemie from the start. In 1970, André Baudet founded the first international location in São Paulo, Brazil, together with Walter Sägesser as partner and managing director. Locations in Romania, Bulgaria, Peru, Poland and Serbia followed in the 1990s, and Selectchemie France and Italy were founded, in which Selectchemie AG held a minority interest. The shares in Selectchemie Italy were divested in 2022. The first sourcing office was opened in China in 1996, the second followed in India in 2004. Further locations were opened in Turkey, Ukraine, Germany and Argentina in the 2000s. Offices in Spain and Mexico followed, and Selectchemie GmbH was founded in Hamburg, Germany, in 2018. The office in Egypt opened in 2022. Two further Swiss locations were opened in French-speaking Switzerland and Ticino in 2023.

The original core business, trading in animal feed additives, quickly developed successfully with a small team of twelve employees, and Selectchemie was soon regarded as a competent partner with scientific expertise in the Swiss animal feed industry. Selectchemie AG was never, and is still not, a trader in the traditional sense but acts as a full-service provider.

The APIs and Excipients business developed at the same time as the animal feed business and, thanks to the successful takeover of the FMC Philadelphia distribution, achieved rapid success. Selectchemie thus gained access to the generics industry and the research industry right from the start of the business activity. Various factory representatives of Asian and European producers followed, and Selectchemie covered almost the entire range of active ingredients after less than 20 years.

In 1990, the Human Nutrition division was founded. The field of animal feed additives became increasingly less important as a result of stricter official approval processes for antibiotics and growth promoters in the animal feed industry and was discontinued in 2014 for strategic reasons. In this year, the company’s own application lab was set up in order to be able to offer customers even better service. Today, Selectchemie is the leading distributor for the Swiss food and dietary supplement industry in the nutrition sector and acts as the exclusive Swiss representative for various renowned suppliers. The division has been represented under their own brand Selectnutrition since 2023.

In 2010, the dossier business (FDF) was established as a new business model with the aim of developing and launching our own generic finished drug products with project and financing partners. 2017 saw the launch of the first generic drug, Caspofungin, followed by Anidulafungin in 2019 and Micafungin in 2020.

Ensuring the highest and consistent quality in all business activities is essential for Selectchemie. In 1994, Selectchemie achieved ISO 9001 certification, and GMP and GDP certification by Swissmedic in 2001. Further certifications followed and we switched to ISO 22000 in 2015. In order to be able to import active ingredients into the European Union, we received certification according to Section 67 AMG (German Medicinal Products Act) and later also approval according to Section 52 AMG for the wholesale trade in pharmaceutical products.

The founding years are best described in a quote by Democritus: “Boldness begins a deed; but chance governs its completion.” 

Hugo Müller

Co-founder and former Director Pharma Switzerland, born in 1943