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Innovation Blossoms

The three Sopharma AD factories - the one in Kazanlak, the Tablet production and Ampoule production in Sofia - have Nivalin in common, one of the strongest Sopharma products. Nivalin is sold in more than 10 countries outside Bulgaria, making it one of the most famous Sopharma products.  It increases the intensity of the reflex centers of the spinal cord, medulla oblongata and cerebral cortex, thus influences all links of the reflex arc.

The active substance of Nivalin, called “galantamine hydrobromide”, an alkaloid taken from snowdrop flowers and used both for  tablets and ampoules, is produced in Sopharma Kazanlak, one of the most beautiful areas in Bulgaria. Magdalena Baltova describes being a technologist in Sopharma Kazanlak as very fascinating but also challenging:

“Every day, you have to be a 100% of yourself.”

Extracting galantamine hydrobromide is not a an easy process, but rather a long one divided in three parts

  • production of technical galantamine, which includes a large percentage of impurities
  • production of cleaned galantamine
  • production of pharmacopoeia galantamine.

Planting the seeds in the hothouse is the first and most essential step and the Sopharma employees manage to achieve 80% growth rate of the plants. The plants are too small in the beginning and they don’t synthesise enough secondary metabolites, alkaloids and in particular galantamine. Therefore, they remain in the hot house for one year, until they reach their appropriate age for galantamine extraction.

During the second year, they are replanted on the fields, transforming Kazanlak into a white flower paradise. During autumn, all plants are extracted and the bulbs taken to a field where they grow in order for biomass to be collected from the over ground part of the plants. This biomass serves as the main producer of the active ingredient of Nivalin – galantamine.

The factory in Kazanlak is the starting point of Nivalin production. However, the two modern ampoule and tablet plants in Sofia are the main Nivalin production facilities. These factories started working in 2013 and are currently some of the most modern plants in Bulgaria. The majority of the equipment is brand new and follows the latest technologies. Sophisticated software programs allow control, good management of the processes and precision, ensuring higher quality production. Sopharma’s working model is based on a responsible approach whose main goal is both to improve the work-life balance of its employees and to protect the surrounding environment. After all, the success of Nivalin factories and its large production levels at Sopharma are driven by nature.

“The plants have their own character and they like to surprise us with their unique metabolism sometimes.  “(M. Baltova)