Producing Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients
Inspired by nature
Productos Químicos Naturales S.A. de C.V. was established in 1963 in Orizaba, Veracruz, Mexico.
The company was established as a partnership between Syntex (the company co-founded by the American chemist Dr. Russell Marker) and Beneficio Acayucan (a company growing and harvesting wild yam).
During his travels across the Veracruz province in the 1940s, Dr. Russell Marker discovered high steroid concentrations in the wild yam plant, triggering worldwide development of steroid hormones. He successfully made synthetic progesterone and other steroids from these natural precursors in a chemical process known as “Marker degradation”. The first name of the company was Productos Químicos Naturales Syntex S.A. de C.V. In 1963 it was acquired by the German pharmaceutical leader in the production of hormonal products for human use, Schering AG, which is now part of Bayer, based in Germany. At the same time, the name was changed to Productos Químicos Naturales S.A. de C.V., or Proquina for short.
The discovery of the technique for transforming diosgenine extracted from the root of the wild yam into synthetic hormones spurred the growth of Proquina, thanks to the fact that diosgenine is found in high concentrations in the wild Mexican yam called barbasco, which grows naturally in the region of Orizaba and southeastern Mexico.
In January 2007, following the acquisition of Schering AG by the Bayer Group, Proquina became a subsidiary of Bayer.