Menarini’s Global Expansion




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Video title: Menarini’s Global Expansion
Released on: February 10, 2009. © PharmaVentures Ltd
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As Italy’s largest pharmaceutical company, Menarini knows the value of strong commercial development. Here Cristiano Musso, Licensing Manager discusses the company’s expansion into Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America, which helped to enrich their portfolio. He stresses the importance of a strong sales and marketing force and how crucial taking a step into the US markets will be for them.
The secret of Menarini being a strong commercial organization.
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to PharmaVentures Business review here in Mannheim, Germany. On this show I have Cristiano Musso who is Licensing Manager at Menarini.
Cristiano Musso:
Hello.
Fintan Walton:
Welcome to the show.
Cristiano Musso:
It's a true pleasure to be here with you today.
Fintan Walton:
Good. Cristiano Musso, Menarini is a very well known Italian Pharmaceutical company. Its a privately owned, family owned company obviously based in Italy its headquarters in Florence. Its got operation else where within Italy. Menarini is one of these Pharmaceutical company, mid size Pharmaceutical company that's survived over the last few years. The industry is changing dramatically and as we speak more or less. But the Menarini Pharmaceutical company has retained its position in fact its not just retained its position, its continuing to expand and grow. So what is it about Menarini that allows it to survive and be an important player still in the pharmaceutical industry?
Cristiano Musso:
Yes as you said earlier it's a private company. So we are reported nice results in 2007. We achieved 2.5 billion euros as consolidated turnover and we forecasted 2.7 billion euros in terms of consolidated turnover in 2008. We are the stronger commercial organization capable of developing project, experimental projects. This is the secret of Menarini to be a strong commercial organization sales and marketing organization.
Menarini's expansion into Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Fintan Walton:
Right, and this is the important point because you know clearly if we look the expansion it is in the territorial expansion in the 1990s, it expanded into Eastern Europe and into the CIS Russia and so forth and it's also expanded into China and into Latin America.
Cristiano Musso:
Yes in 1992 we acquired the largest Eastern European company Berlin-Chemie and that was a key step to cover Eastern European countries as well as Asia, Asian countries like China, Vietnam and India as well. So we are proud of this result because we are expanded our business also in extra [ph] European territories.
Fintan Walton:
Right, the acquisition of Berlin-Chemie in back in 1992 brought other additional products since your portfolio as well?
Cristiano Musso:
Yes the acquisition brought additional products that we enriched our portfolio keeping the core products of Menarini of course. We are mainly present in cardiovascular and metabolic, in metabolism field therapeutic area.
Fintan Walton:
Right, your job title is licensing manager you've got to bring in products for the Menarini group of companies. But when you look at mid size company like yourselves which has it's not a global company may be some day it will be a global company. What's specifically would a licensor want to think about when they're thinking about Menarini? What is that you can bring to a licensor that other companies cannot?
Cristiano Musso:
Yes I believe that Menarini could be a strong opportunity as a European regional player in terms of commitment and reliability, and loyalty to the project. As we are a private company we can ensure our partners to follow a project during the whole life cycle of the project and this is a very important to feature of Menarini, with along with all the sales and marketing capabilities that I mentioned before.
Fintan Walton:
When you talk about you know it's commercialization, strong commercialization organization talk about sales force effectiveness what do you actually mean how does that actually translate into what sort of content are you talking about?
Cristiano Musso:
Yes we are experiencing in Europe a major concern unfortunately the pharmaceutical industry is losing more than 25% of visits calls in the field there so it's gonna be very, very important that you educate our sales people, sales and marketing people to become a consultants and into build that the strong relationships with - with customers. It's not any more the time that you have a commercial, just commercial people in the field there but it's important to educate them that's why Menarini invests a lot of time and money in educating it's sales and marketing structure, sales and marketing people.
Menarini's antibody business platform.
Fintan Walton:
One of the other interesting things with Menarini is it entered into the biotech's space in fact one of your lead compounds is an antibody -?
Cristiano Musso:
Yes, we are developing a late stage clinical project about Abagovomab and Monoclonal antibody against the Ovarian Cancer and that could be hopefully the key step that you start up our sales and marketing structure in the US in 2012. And we are excited about -- about this project.
Fintan Walton:
Right, so that the key thing then for it's for a company like Menarini again it's a very traditional pharmaceutical company but a midsized company family owned and so forth to take on a project like an antibody based project takes on additional risks for that organization but in the end if that product is successful will how much will that transform Menarini?
Cristiano Musso:
It's gonna be a, you know a fundamental step at you for our growth because we are aware that starting up a company in the US is a crucial step for the development of our company. Even if we are expanded our business in Latin America and in Asia as I told you earlier a year ago, so we're we have the breadth of a global company already but US obviously it's gonna be our reward at the end of the Phase III projects.
Fintan Walton:
But I suppose it's different, the entry into United States with a product that is not generally sold through GPs, it's a special specialty you know a specialty sales force to mark the selling of the product so different in a way to the types of sales forces that you would have in you know China or in Vietnam or in Eastern Europe you have to become a different type of company in North America?
Cristiano Musso:
Yes, you know in Europe that we have 7000 people in the field but we have already more than 300 specialist hospital medical reps, so we have the capability to start up a business in the hospital and in oncology and to get in touch with main core points of oncology. As you said, we are not ready to start up assays and marketing structure with 1000 non medical reps calling on primary care core points, that's why we are looking, we are pursuing a specialty sales force strategy in the future in the US.
Focus on inlicensing opportunities and their reliability in partnerships
Fintan Walton:
Right, now you are here in Mannheim, Germany you are attending the Bio Europe Conference in November 2008. What are you looking for when you come to partnering event like this? What sort of products you are looking for?
Cristiano Musso:
I spend most of my time in during partnering, one-to-one partnering meetings but there are excellent excellent speeches and meetings and exhibitions. But, to be honest with you for me one-to-one partner meetings are the most important goal because I want to meet people and to share information with them scientific clinical information and to get the opportunity to review their projects because we are mainly focusing on in licensing opportunities. So sure it's a great opportunity for us here in Mannheim.
Fintan Walton:
So if I was a biotech company in the United States and I was looking at out licensing outside the United States, why would I even consider Menarini?
Cristiano Musso:
Menarini is an excellent of biotech company, has expertise and knowhow to develop a biotech, biotech projects we access the people proactively working in this company and their capacity is really excellent to develop a project from discovery to marketing authorization. So flexibility, creativity, proactive, proactively working on the project is one of the secrets of success for a partnership with Menarini, and reliability and commitment of course.
Development of biotech pharma industry in next couple of years
Fintan Walton:
Right, so obviously we are again we are here in November 2008 making this recording and the economy climates have changed, the pharmaceutical industry is under change as well in it's own right and so forth. What do you see from a Menarini point of you, how the biotech pharma industry is going to develop over the next couple of years?
Cristiano Musso:
We think that more-and-more partnering projects with strong regional player is gonna be an opportunity because I believe I feel that regional partners in the future would be able to provide excellent research of biotech companies with commitment in a specific region of the world. This is very important and on the other hand as we are private we really can provide them with stability, with commitment as I told you earlier and follow their project during the whole life cycle of the project.
Fintan Walton:
Okay. Cristiano Musso, thank you very much indeed for coming on the show.
Cristiano Musso:
Sure, it was a true pleasure.
Fintan Walton:
Thank you.
Cristiano Musso
Licensing Manager
Cristiano Musso joined Menarini in 1988 as a Sales Rep following medical training, from 1995 to 2005 he worked as a Field Force Manager for MenariniItaly. In 2005 he took on the role of European Coordinator in the Sales&Marketing department of Menarini International, a position he held until 2007. Most recently he has been working in the Menarini Business Development team as Licensing Manager.
Menarini
The Menarini Group is the world's leading Italian pharmaceutical company. It was founded in Naples, Italy, in 1886 and is committed to the search for pharmacological solutions for cardiovascular diseases, oncology, pain / inflammation, asthma and anti- infectives. Menarini's research activities are carried out through Menarini Ricerche, which deals with all R&D activities, from the creation of new projects up to the drug registration. It's Menarini Biotech follows the creation of a biotechnological drug from the very early stages of research, through to the pilot scale and up to industrial production. The Group's Menarini Diagnostics division is a health care company with a worldwide network of affiliates partners and distributors focused on diabetes, haematology, clinical chemistry, urinalysis, and immunology