Cyberattack on main distributor of pharmacies disrupts medicines supplies
Alliance Healthcare has experienced IT issues since Friday
Alliance Healthcare has experienced IT issues since Friday
World's major supplier of plasma products aims to fund new plants, while consolidating its place in Chinese market
Revenue up to €4.4bn; figures slightly better than previous year
Catalan pharmaceutical multinational continues to add to its R&D+i portfolio on back of acquiring minority stake in US firm GigaGen at start of July
The Catalan Government will offer to host the European Medicines Agency’s headquarters, which is currently in London. The body, which is responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines developed by pharmaceutical companies for use in the EU, is looking for a new location after ‘Brexit’ and the Generalitat will defend Catalonia’s “potential in the pharmaceutical and biomedical sector” for Catalonia to become the agency’s new home. Indeed, in the nineties the Catalan Government already presented a “very solid portfolio” to house the European Medicines Agency, which was ultimately located in London’s Canary Wharf financial district. According to sources interviewed by CNA, Catalonia is now “racing” with other countries which have also presented their candidacies, such as Sweden, Denmark and Italy.
The fee that was temporarily charged on each drug prescription in Catalonia between June 2012 and January 2013 has started to be refunded by the Catalan Government, after the Constitutional Court definitively banned it in May 2014. The decision came after an appeal from the Spanish Government, despite the People Party (PP) initially having supported the measure in spring 2012. However, after the Catalan Government started to back independence from Spain in autumn 2012, the PP decided to oppose the drug prescription fee. The measure had been adopted to reduce pharmaceutical spending, with the final goal being to reduce public deficit. In the short period the fee was in place, €45.7 million was directly earned but much more was saved, since drug spending dropped by around 23%. According to the Catalan Government's calculations, so far 100,000 euros has already been returned to approximately 5,000 people and about €6 million will be returned in total. So far, 300,000 people have filed the request, with an average of €20 per person.
Grifols, a global healthcare company based in Greater Barcelona, announced on Wednesday that it will acquire 45% of the California-based firm Alkahest for $37.5 million. The biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Redwood City (near San Francisco) was founded last year upon the work of Stanford University scientists, who proved that factors in the blood of young animals were able to restore mental capabilities in old animals. This discovery has triggered Grifols' interest, a world leader in blood-derivative products. The two partners will work together on the development of novel plasma-based products for the treatment of cognitive impairment associated with age and other diseases of the central nervous system, including Alzheimer´s.
During the first half of the year, the revenues of the Catalan multinational pharmaceutical company Grifols rose by 16.7% to €1.61 bilion, 75% of which came from the Bioscience division and 18% from Diagnostic. Compared to the first quarter, the proportion of total sales generated by each of the group’s divisions remains unchanged after the acquisition of Novartis' diagnostic business. The world´s third-largest blood-derivate product maker, Grifols obtained a net profit of €224.8 million, 23% more compared with the same period last year, as reported by the company to the Spanish Stock Exchange Authority (CNMV). These positive figures were achieved due to the maintenance of financial costs, made possible by improved financial conditions, despite having increased debt in absolute terms.
On Wednesday the Catalan pharmaceutical company Almirall announced that they have sold the rights to their respiratory subsidiary to the British-Swedish company AstraZeneca for the initial value of €653 million ($875 million), to be paid when signing the deal. Then, further payments could reach up to an additional €910 million ($1.22 billion), depending on the AstraZeneca's success in product development, new product launches and sales. This news comes after Almirall announced a €19.1 million net profit in the first two quarters of this year, an 8.5% increase from the same period last year. With this new operation it is expected that "a significant number" of employees from the Catalan company's respiratory subsidiary will be transferred to AstraZeneca.
A plasma fractionation plant installed in Clayton, North Carolina by the company Grífols was unveiled on Tuesday by the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, along with the President and CEO of the pharmaceutical, Víctor Grífols, and the State Governor, Pat McCrory. The new plant is 14,400 square metres big, will create over 200 jobs and represents an investment of 260 million euros. Expected to be operational by 2015, it will the largest and one of the most advanced plasma fractionation plants in the world. Grífols already has 2,300 employees in the state of North Carolina and it is among the world's top pharmaceuticals within the blood-derivates market. A few weeks ago, Víctor Grífols gave his support to the Catalan President and the self-determination process, which he confirmed on Tuesday.
The Catalan industrial sector received €1.365 billion of direct foreign investment in 2013, the highest amount since 2005, according to Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce. This represents 52% of the total foreign investment in Spain’s industrial sector in 2013, while Catalonia represents around 19% of Spanish GDP. Across all sectors Catalonia received a total of €3.51 billion of foreign investment last year, 31% more than in 2012. In addition, the President of the Chamber, Miquel Valls, emphasized that foreign investment in Catalonia went mostly to the industrial sector and advanced services, while in the rest of Spain it mostly went to the recreational and real estate sectors. According to Valls, this indicates that international investors have identified Catalonia with “a new production model”, while this has not happened in the rest of Spain.
Víctor Grífols, the President and part owner of the Catalan pharmaceutical company Grífols – which is one of the world leaders for blood-derivate products – has advised the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas to "go ahead" and "do not flinch", indirectly referring to Catalonia's self-determination process. At a public event to unveil the enlargement of the multinational's campus in Parets del Vallès (Greater Barcelona), Víctor Grífols stated: "When an organization – whatever its nature – has a clear goal to reach, a clear idea of which is the direction to follow in the future, it does not have to fear criticism questioning its strategy or raison d’être". The pharmaceutical firm has built a new plasma fractioning plant, which cost €20 million and will hire 70 new workers.
The profits of Catalan pharmaceutical company Grífols in 2013 grew by 34.6% over the previous year, reaching €345.6 million, as reported by the multinational to the Spanish Stock Exchange Regulation Authority (CNMV). The turnover of the company, based in Greater Barcelona, amounted to €2.75 billion, representing a 4.6% increase on 2012 figures. The geographical expansion of the pharmaceutical company has helped mitigating the effects of volatility in currencies, especially between the euro and the dollar. The Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) grew by 9.6% compared to 2012 and stood at €864.6 million, driven by an increase in the sales of plasma proteins and the optimization of the expenses for raw materials and manufacturing.