Why fluorochemicals? It was clear to the staff at Apollo that research interest into incorporating the fluorine atom into organic molecules was growing strongly. The presence of the fluorine atom can have a major influence on the physical and biological properties and chemical reactivity of an organic molecule, as witnessed by today's amazingly diverse range of commercial products containing one or more C-F bonds (agrochemicals, anaesthetics, fire-extinguishing agents, refrigerants, textile chemicals, dyes, surfactants, inert oils and lubricants, elastomers, plastics, liquid crystals, etc.). However, it was in the area of healthcare in particular that the demand for fluorochemicals has grown most strongly. Replacing hydrogen (for example) in a molecule by the fluorine atom (which has a similar steric size, but is much more electronegative) can have a dramatic effect on biological activity. It is not surprising, therefore, that many pharmaceutical products containing fluorine have been approved for use as antibiotic, anticholesterol, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antiviral and anticancer drugs.
Recognising this increase in demand for fluorochemicals from medicinal chemists at pharmaceutical companies, Apollo concentrated its efforts into offering from stock an ever-increasing range of novel and difficult-to-source fluorine-containing compounds.