Orion Corporation: Licenses and Growth for Mid-size Companies in Europe




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: Orion Corporation: Licenses and Growth for Mid-size Companies in Europe
Released on: April 22, 2010. © PharmaVentures 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, Fintan Walton talks with Jukka Muhonen at Orion Corporation. Filmed at Bio-Europe Spring 2010 in Barcelona, Spain, they discuss:

• Orion's origins and growth in Europe

• Orion's organic growth as opposed to acquisitions

• Why a licensor should consider Orion

• How recent acquisitions by big pharma affect Orion

• Licensing arrangements and global rights in a mid-size company

• Orion's agenda for the next 5 years
Orion Corporation 's origins and growth in Europe.
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to PharmaTelevision News Review here in Barcelona at BioEurope. On this show I have Jukka Muhonen, who is the Business Development Director at Orion Corporation which is headquartered in Finland, welcome to the show.
Jukka Muhonen:
Thank you, good morning.
Fintan Walton:
Good morning to you. Orion or Orion Corporation is a mid-sized European Company focused obviously in pharmaceuticals tell us little bit about the origins of that company and how it's grown in recent times particularly in its presence here in Europe?
Jukka Muhonen:
Yes, some years back we celebrated our 90th anniversary, so we've been founded in 1917 and as you said we've grown out of Finland, we are headquartered there and that's our home market as we like to see. We've been the leading company there for a number of years and still we are in the lead in Finland in terms of sales we hold a market share of 9.5% if I remember it's certainly right and in terms of volume the stake is even, even larger around one third of the packages in pharmaceuticals sold in Finland are Orion Corporation packages. So that's our home turf and from there we've gradually grown into Scandinavia and Central Europe and for some years already we've been active in Eastern Europe and that market is a growth area for us and it has been. And then recently, as recently as last year we opened up subsidiaries in Southern Europe also. So we like to see ourselves as a regional pharmaceutical and diagnostics company who is European and who is headquartered in Finland.
Orion Corporation 's organic growth as opposed to acquisitions.
Fintan Walton:
Right, now clearly you've grown in recent times that's been organic growth, that has been through your own you haven't grown through acquisition but you have acquired products in the route?
Jukka Muhonen:
Carefully chosen acquisitions, yes we have done those in the past but not recently it's Orion Corporation in it's history did quite a bit of acquisitions in Finland [PharmaDeals ID = 11010] [PharmaDeals ID = 33011] and in the Scandinavian region but the MO if you may of Orion Corporation recently has been to grow organically supplementing that with in organic growth through licensing and collaborations.
Why a licensor should consider Orion Corporation .
Fintan Walton:
Right, so that comes on to the issue for a company like yours in attracting in license products, obviously there is there are number of companies trying to get products for Europe and not just Europe obviously for global rights as well so how does a company like Orion Corporation compete in that market, why should a licensor consider Orion Corporation ?
Jukka Muhonen:
Well we like to think of ourselves as having world class capabilities in those specific areas where we have been active and are active in. We have certain of our own technology platforms in CNS, critical care, oncology and the respiratory and asthma space, so those markets and those products and technologies and the developments in those markets are we think that we know very well and we have a long history and track record in introducing products to the markets, developing them all the way through registration and also we have a lot of successes in commercializing products and you know branding them successfully on those markets where we are present. And that capability and expertise along history is obviously something that we are looking to develop further and also leverage to any collaboration that we may put in place. Orion is a company we've grown out of licensing arrangements, we have been the licensee for a number of our partner companies including big pharma companies who not necessarily had any operations in the regions where we were at. So we've been a strong Scandinavian player and we continue to be a strong Scandinavian player and that actually licensing and collaboration activity is something that we've developed and cultivated also to serve the interest of our partners in these times as well. So the regional collaborative licensing and partnering approach is what we're actually exercising today and I think there is lot of value in that in terms of really catering to the partner candidates, licensor candidates and building trust in them that Orion is a company to reckon with, to begin with. We have a world class presence in the areas that I mentioned such as Anti-Parkinson disease for example that's an important franchise for Orion and it has been for a number of years and we have significant expertise in neurodegenerative disorders just to name an example and these particularly yes.
Fintan Walton:
So that your ability to get local I mean to operate at a local level has been key to your own development, what do you think?
Jukka Muhonen:
Yes it has and the way we look at the environment currently is that the challenge is the pharma industry is facing for example market access. In Europe that's still today a very much a local consideration, so understanding that, understanding the regulatory environment, understanding the needs of the customers and the patients and you know building intimacy at the customer interface is I think one of the benefits for companies such as Orion .
How recent acquisitions by big pharma affect Orion Corporation .
Fintan Walton:
So with companies particularly here in Europe, companies like Schwarz have been acquired by UCB [PharmaDeals ID = 25362].
Jukka Muhonen:
Yes.
Fintan Walton:
Solvay has been acquired by Abbott [PharmaDeals ID = 33914] and so there is that mid-size companies are disappearing in Europe. Does that give you in some ways a competitive advantage because of less mid size companies, what's left are only very large pharmaceutical companies trying to operate or do you look at it from a specialist therapeutic focus point of view rather than from just a territorial point of view?
Jukka Muhonen:
Yes, well we look at it from the point of view of our therapeutic area focus technology focus and also geographical focus. We are diversified in between a couple of therapeutic areas obviously as a mid-size company, our resources are not as vast as the resources of big pharma but we do believe that we've been able to find a space where we can fare well also into the future and being intelligently diversified in between our proprietary products business and the specialty products business which is our ex-generics and OTC that has served our purposes very nicely and we will be continuing on that path also into the future.
Licensing arrangements and global rights in a mid-size company.
Fintan Walton:
So when you are in licensing products which you do and there may be a licensor out there who may want to give away global rights, you obviously you are operating within Europe, do you or you prepared to take those global rights and then and would license those or do you just only want to have the European rights, how do you handle that situation?
Jukka Muhonen:
Well we are staying open to both alternatives and from our discussions at the licensing interface when we've discussed with partner companies we come to realize that different license stories have different objectives and different strategies and we try to stay open to those objectives so that we can accommodate as best as we can a licensing discussion and a partnering arrangement where we do see a fit between the two companies. I mentioned yesterday here when we had a panel on the competitive advantages or challenges of mid-size companies that I don't think any mid-size company should shy away from global rights if a particular asset is at the heart of their expertise and at the heart of their strategy. Big pharma competitors they are moving in earlier and earlier on particular opportunities, particular technologies so if mid-size companies do not take a role in that licensing arena I think they would be foregoing opportunities that could well be there's and really it depends on whether a biotech company or a small pharma company is looking for a global partner. Not everybody is nowadays, there is a value to be had in intelligent regional arrangements and some licensors in our experience do like the proposition of retaining some value, retaining a region and engaging a collaborative for the development, they may be reserving the commercial relation rights for the asset in another region and building value and maximizing value that way.
Orion Corporation 's agenda for the next 5 years.
Fintan Walton:
Yes. So for a company like Orion you're at a stage where obviously still continue to grow you are looking to in license products, so what can we expect from your organization, you are here obviously at BioEurope and looking for partners, looking for products?
Jukka Muhonen:
Yes.
Fintan Walton:
So what can we expect? What's the vision for the next five-years?
Jukka Muhonen:
Well what we have been working towards and are working towards as we speak is gradually executing our strategy to become a more established European player in the chosen therapy areas that we are currently in and that we are currently looking at, central nervous system disorders, oncology and critical care, and the respiratory space, asthma and COPD. And we are actually here also with an active out licensing agenda for our respiratory products dry-powder-inhaler-deviceEasyhaler that we are continuing to develop. So that I think has actually produced beneficial discussions already here and yes we are looking to out license, engage partners for our own products outside of Europe and at the same time building relationships and partnerships for the longer-term for being the licensee of choice in Europe for the licensors in those special areas where we do believe that we have the world class expertise to maximize the opportunities.
Fintan Walton:
Jukka Muhonen, thank you very much indeed for come on the show.
Jukka Muhonen:
My pleasure. Thank you.
Fintan Walton
Dr 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).
Jukka Muhonen
Life Science Manager
Mr. Jukka Muhonen has been responsible for Orion Corporation's strategic partnerships since the beginning of 2007.A lawyer by training, Jukka Muhonen joined Orion Corporation and the pharmaceutical industry in 1998. His previous employment history included stints with Telecom Finland (now Sonera) and a corporate law firm.
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 commercialisation.
Orion Corporation
Orion Corporation , founded in 1917 and headquartered at Espoo, Finland, is a Finnish company, which develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceuticals, active pharmaceutical ingredients and diagnostic tests for global markets. The company also has a large R&D unit in Turku.