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Darmstadt is 30 km south of Frankfurt in the Rhine-Main region. With 152,000 residents, it is the fourth-largest city in the state of Hesse. Darmstadt is best-known in Germany as a hub of science and research. In addition to Darmstadt University of Technology and Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences, the city has over 30 research institutes, including the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research and the European Space Operations Center (ESA/ESOC). Darmstadt became known as the home of the Art Nouveau movement after an artist’s colony was founded in the city’s Mathildenhöhe neighborhood in 1899. Its most well-known athletic association is the national SV Darmstadt 98 soccer team.
The Darmstadt site at a glance:
|Divisions & service companies||
& Development Center
Consumer Health Bayer
Frequently asked questions about the Darmstadt site
Steigerwald Arzneimittelwerk GmbH is a long-standing family company founded in 1951. The phytopharmaceuticals manufacturer was acquired by Bayer AG in July 2013. In early 2016, the Germany-wide marketing and sales activities, and all brands and products of the former Steigerwald Arzneimittel GmbH were integrated into the Consumer Health division of Bayer Vital GmbH, Leverkusen. The site in Darmstadt will be retained and has even been expanded to fulfill its role as a phytopharmaceuticals competence center for plant-based OTC drugs. Apart from drug manufacturing, new phytopharmaceuticals also are developed here. Only sales activities for Steigerwald products are now managed by Bayer Vital.
Bayer Steigerwald’s two best-selling brands are the plant-based gastrointestinal drug Iberogast® and the St. John’s wort preparation Laif® for treating depression. Both products belong to the group of phytopharmaceuticals, meaning medicines of plant origin. Compared to chemical drugs, phytopharmceuticals often are better tolerated while offering the same level of efficacy. However, the manufacturing process from plant to drug is highly complex. Iberogast, for instance, is a combination of individual extracts from nine different medicinal plants. Climate fluctuation during the growth season naturally can lead to variations in the makeup of the plants. For this reason, targeted plant selection and good agriculture and collection practices (GACP) are essential for ensuring the uniform quality and effectiveness of phytopharmaceuticals.
The Darmstadt site has 120 employees engaged in various areas. The three largest are:
Liquids production, filtration, filling and packaging of phytopharmaceuticals. The production of plant-based drugs must fully meet the requirements of good manufacturing practice (GMP).
- Quality Unit
The quality of drugs, extracts, intermediate products and end products is analyzed here. Compliance with all specified parameters must be ensured if these products are to be approved.
- Innovation & Development
Over 20 employees in Darmstadt develop new plant-based drugs in collaboration with distinguished universities and research institutes.
Darmstadt offers a tremendous range of recreational opportunities. Whether you like sports, culture or the outdoors, Darmstadt has something for everyone.
Darmstadt has over one-hundred athletic clubs. The most popular are those for soccer and running. The City Run, Heinerfest Triathlon and Darmstadt Marathon are held annually. Many Darmstadt natives are fans of the SV Darmstadt 98 soccer club, which advanced in 2015 to Germany’s national league soccer ranks, and since then has been causing quite a stir, even though it is one of the smaller clubs.
- Culture & Architecture
In the Imperial Era, Darmstadt was the state capital of Hesse. Several, impressive, historic buildings from that period still exist, which shape the image of the city, including the Mathildenhöhe, an Art Nouveau artist’s colony of significance in historic architecture. It is a unified work of art comprising the “Hochzeits” Tower, an exhibition building, artists’ homes and a plane tree grove. Almost equally as famous is Darmstadt Palace, located in the center of downtown. Built in the 13th century, it is today a venue for weddings and events. The Darmstadt “Staatstheater”, which seats an audience of nearly 1,000, also is a leading center of the arts, offering a diverse program of music, dance, stage plays and concerts.
The city has numerous parks and gardens for relaxing or taking a stroll, such as Prinz Emil Garden or the “Orangerie” with its Baroque manor house. The city also has a botanical garden and a wild game reserve originally built by Landgrave Georg Kranichstein. Darmstadt is surrounded by an extensive, forested region that is not economically exploited and is exclusively for recreational purposes.
The atmosphere at the site is informal and most employees are firmly rooted in the region. Many identify closely with the company and are enthusiastic about their involvement in the phytopharmaceuticals business. The acquisition by Bayer is slowly transforming Steigerwald into a globally operating company. The establishment of the Phytomedicines Supply & Development Center has strengthened the site long term, meaning that employees are enjoying many positive developments and share a spirit of optimism. Another reason for the site’s attractiveness is its location. Steigerwald is in downtown Darmstadt and offers good access to public transportation. Frankfurt Main Station is just 30 minutes away. Located close by are the Odenwald region, the vineyards of the “Hessische Bergstrasse” and interesting cities such as Heidelberg, Frankfurt and Wiesbaden.
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