Almirall: Jordi Sabe. An International Speciality Pharma Company Focused on Respiratory, Dermatology , Gastroenterology and Pain




Episode Loading...




PharmaTelevision requires Javascript enabled and Adobe Flash Player to watch our programmes. If you do not have Flash installed, you can download it for free from the Adobe Flash homepage.

Improve your Internet experience and start watching exciting new video content.

Video title: Almirall: Jordi Sabe. An International Speciality Pharma Company Focused on Respiratory, Dermatology , Gastroenterology and Pain
Released on: April 17, 2013. © PharmaTelevision Ltd
Share/save this page:
Email
Bookmark
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Follow us:
RSS
Twitter
  • Summary
  • Transcript
  • Participants
  • Company
In this episode of PharmaTelevision News Review, filmed at BioEurope Spring 2013, in Barcelona, Spain, Fintan Walton talks to Jordi Sabe, Director, Corporate Development - Licensing & M&A at Almirall
An overview of Almirall and its position in marketplace
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to PharmaTelevision News Review here at BioEurope Spring, in Barcelona, 2013. On this show I have Jordi Sabe, who is Director of Corporate Development - Licensing & M&A, at Almirall, welcome.
Jordi Sabe:
Thank you very much and thanks for your invitation.
Fintan Walton:
Almirall, obviously is a Spanish company that's mostly people will see it as a Spanish company, but it also has a global presence obviously, could you tell us a little bit more about Almirall and where it's positioned in the marketplace?
Jordi Sabe:
Yes, well I wouldn't say obviously it is the headquarters are located in Spain, but Almirall is an international company, its products are being sold in more than 70 countries around the globe. We have a strong presence in the European region on top of Mexico and Canada, this is a company that was founded in 1943, it is listed in the Spanish Stock Exchange, it has a market size a market cap of 1.5 billion approximately with a turnover of a bit more than 900 million Euros, and we are a company that we are fully devoted to innovation, innovation you can call it in the way you do the things or in what things you are able to do, and what we look constantly are for opportunities that we can leverage this innovation and we can complement the R&D capabilities, and the commercial capabilities that we have internally. So with that what we'd try to do is accumulate our interests to the interest of the potential partners in order to compliment as I said the internal programs or the marketed products portfolio that we have. In terms of R&D we invest more than 150 million per year in terms of, in Euros and that is more than 20% of the sales of the company, which is quite significant. Our main areas in terms of therapeutics are dermatology and respiratory and obviously with a strong interest in gastrointestinal and pain, although those areas are mostly covered through in-licensing effort or M&A effort. In terms of international expansion which I think is very relevant for the company, because at the moment that we are living as of today and for the efforts that we have been performing in the past, we are, yes we are a Spanish company but we like to think that we are a speciality pharma in the international arena, actually 40% of our business is focused in Spain, but as I said 60% of the business is already in the international market and we hope that these percentage will be increasing in the coming years.
Growing revenues and benefits of Almirall's strategic alliances
Fintan Walton:
Okay, now as you've said, you've had a number of partnerships and so forth some of those are very important, for an example you are expecting over the next few years your revenues to increase, could you give us an example of why that's going to take place?
Jordi Sabe:
Yes, as I said Aclidinium bromide indicated for COPD is an asset that we think can be transformational for the company. Let me give you an example, even because of Aclidinium bromide we have been doing all the corporate development efforts in order to make sure that Aclidinium bromide and the company could be developed sufficiently in order to give and the proper support in terms of commercial infrastructure to the success of these very interesting molecule. On top of that we have a very innovative compound indicated for IBS-C and that was in-licensed from a US company called Ironwood Pharmaceuticals [PharmaDeals ID = 33227] and the name of the product is Linaclotide and this will be launched as well in the first half of this year, so but this is only for the European region. Going back to Aclidinium bromide what we have been doing as well in the rest of the geographies where we do not cover it directly, that means basically outside the European region, we have been signing a strategic partnerships in Japan with Kyorin Pharmaceuticals [PharmaDeals ID = 39417], in the US very strong partnership with Forest Laboratories [PharmaDeals ID = 23945], in Korea Daewoong [PharmaDeals ID = 45520] and most recently and that was more a co-marketing agreement that we signed with Menarini [PharmaDeals ID = 46184] an Italian company and, well our intent in the coming months and year will be to, to continue to find the key strategic partnerships in key emerging countries such as China and the Latin America region.
Fintan Walton:
Okay, and obviously you've described there how important partnerships are particularly when it comes to launching products, you've also mentioned the Ironwood in-licensing activity that you've had in the area of GI, so we come into the area of partnerships and so if I was a biotech company trying to consider who I should partner with, what argument would you give to them that they should now partner with Almirall?
Jordi Sabe:
Well first, the first word and that comes to our mind is commitment, so we are a company that we are very used to partnering, we are very used to designing sophisticated governance structures that ensures that then the decision making processes are sufficiently flexible and agile in order to maximize the value of the products that we normally partner. And I have one specific example related to the acquisition that we did in 2007 and that was dermatology business unit coming from Reckitt Benckiser [PharmaDeals ID = 00000] [Deal no. 27911], so in the way we like to see acquisitions and in general partnership is bringing capabilities together to maximize the object of potential transaction, so in that case what we did is to make sure that they had the proper association to invest in R&D and as well to bring all the infrastructure support, and actually what we decided to do instead of bringing their dermatology centre of excellence to Barcelona we decided that we're going to create the center of excellence in dermatology in Reinbek where it was located and the acquisition on top of the R&D center of excellence as well.
Fintan Walton:
And I suppose the other element to this is because you are expecting your revenues to increase and hopefully they will, proportionately you presumably your R&D spend is going to increased, presumably that will mean that you are in a stronger position to take more products forward into the clinic?
Jordi Sabe:
Well sure, we have as I said the Aclidinium can be transformational and this means that hopefully in the next five-years we could even double the size of the company, as of today since we are an R&D company and the more resources we have the more resources we will be able to reinvest, somehow trying, I think in my opinion the partnering approaches are changing, are being much more sophisticated, are becoming much more re-sharing oriented and in the areas where we are certainly we need strong partnerships in order to help us to take the respiratory programs that we have in-house on top of the dermatology programs that as well we have in-house, and we would rely on partners in order to co-develop those compounds and we think more and more we are going to have to access to external innovation and that we could compliment with our internal programs and capabilities.
Partnering and deal making strategies of Almirall
Fintan Walton:
Right, and the other component of this, I mean your title is Director of Corporate Developing Licensing and M&A, it's notable, I mean I suppose you know what would be your M&A strategy, I mean what type of, if you were to, if you were to do it an M&A, a merger and what sort of company would you target and do you have a particular plan for that?
Jordi Sabe:
We don't have any specific objectives to sign x deals per year, so we are very selective on what we want, but whenever we want it we would really go for it, so we are very selective and we think in terms of M&A as complementary capabilities normally as it was the case for the Hermal case, we were not present in the dermatology business and what we decided was to enter that space through an acquisition, but that was just a coincidence, so our strategy is about supporting the company in the corporate goals that is international expansion and if the proper deal structure is an acquisition we will support the company in doing so, there are some geographies that obviously if you don't do it for an acquisition it's very difficult to enter, you can, but all the times what we do is decide should we do or should we follow the green field approach, or should we follow the acquisition approach and at the end it really depends do you find the proper opportunity, do you find the proper partners, because what we don't want is to buy an asset and forget about the management of the company, so we are really looking into the partnering approach in even making acquisitions.
Fintan Walton:
So each opportunity you look at and you make your own decision at that time whether it's suitable for licensing or an acquisition?
Jordi Sabe:
Yes, obviously the whole strategy as I said is to support the corporate goals, corporate goals in this case not related to R&D, but more related to the international expansion, obviously what we want to consolidate as a dominant player in the European region and in this case the M&A strategy is more in terms of how to consolidate in an area where you have already presence and then whenever thinking about international expansion, new geographies of interest as I said since we want to take this opportunity to be a relevant player in those relevant geographies where we think and respiratory and dermatology will be our role, in those geographies we might consider selective acquisitions in order to accelerate that growth.
Fintan Walton:
Okay, and I suppose then the other component to that is you've talked about partnerships, joint ventures is that's something that's within your scope?
Jordi Sabe:
Yes, as I said we are very flexible in the deal structures that we propose as long as there is an alignment of what both companies are trying to achieve and there we will design the proper governance and structures that ensures that the likelihood of the success is very high.
Fintan Walton:
Right, okay. So the other component to this I suppose is to understand within the therapeutic areas that you are focused on, are we looking at a company that's going to still continue to look at primary healthcare or you looking for hospital based products, so again if I was a biotech company or another pharmaceutical company thinking about wanting to do a partnership with Almirall what are your preferences when it comes to the type of drug that ultimately will be marketed?
Jordi Sabe:
Well we prefer to think it about differently and going back to innovation concept. So we are a small molecules company, but since we want to be a relevant player in those, in the therapeutic areas that are core to our R&D capabilities, we are not limited by the fact that if biologicals play a big role in those therapeutic areas we definitely are going to be there, so we are trying to innovate from the inside, but as well we are trying to innovate through external partnerships that can help us as well in the qualities that we have internally.
Fintan Walton:
Jordi Sabe, thank you very much indeed for coming on the show.
Jordi Sabe:
Thank you very much.
Fintan Walton
Dr Fintan Walton is the Founder and CEO of PharmaVentures . After completing his doctoral research on the genetics of cell proliferation at the University of Michigan(US)and Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), Dr Walton gained broad commercial experience in biotechnology in management positions at Bass and Celltech plc (1982-1992).
Jordi Sabe
Director, Corporate Development - Licensing & M&A
At the time of this PTV interview Jordi Sabe serves as Director, Corporate Development - Licensing & M&A at Almirall. His past positions include Head of Out-Licensing at Almirall, Head of Financial Corporate Development at Almirall and Associate Director at Alta Partners.
PharmaVentures
PharmaVentures is a corporate finance and transactions advisory firm that has served hundreds of clients worldwide in relation to their strategic deal making in the pharmaceutical, life science and healthcare sectors. Our key offerings include: Transactions / deal negotiations; Product / technology valuations; Deal term advice; Due diligence & expert reports; Strategy formulation; Alliance management; and Expert opinion for litigation/arbitration cases. PharmaVentures provides the global expertise to ensure our clients generate the highest possible return on investment from all their deal making activities. We have experience of all therapeutic areas and can offer advice on both product and technology commercialization.
Almirall
Almirall is a pharmaceutical company committed to provide valuable medicines through our own R&D efforts, which exceeded 23% on sales in 2012, together with external partnerships, licenses and collaborations. Through seeking innovative medicines we aim to become a relevant player in respiratory and dermatology diseases with also a strong interest in gastroenterology and pain. With more than 3,000 employees in 22 countries, Almirall generated total revenues of 900 million in 2012. The company was founded in 1943 and is headquartered in Barcelona, Spain. The stock is traded in the Spanish stock exchange (ticker: ALM).