Barcelona is an attractive location for business and trade, and has experienced a revival in the biopharma sector in recent years with the outsourcing of innovation from pharma companies to biotech partners. Insight recently interviewed GP Pharm CEO Dr. Berta Ponsati for insight into their partnering and growth strategy, and why Barcelona companies are ripe for international collaboration.
Insight: GP Pharm is a private Spanish biopharmaceutical firm located in the Barcelona area. The company, founded in 2000, works with companies as a strategic partner to bring science to society by developing products from the laboratory to the market. How would you describe GP Pharm to a potential partner?
Ponsati: GP Pharm has based its international expansion on partnership alliances with reliable pharmaceutical companies. Therefore, partnerships have become one of the most important endeavors for GP Pharm. Our portfolio includes innovative products based on microsphere and liposomal technologies that we developed. In addition, our products are manufactured in our widely GMP-approved state-of-art facilities located in Barcelona. This makes us a reputable company to partner with in order to introduce innovative products in new markets.
Insight: You have seen tremendous growth in recent years. In your opinion, what market indicators are the main drivers of this growth?
Ponsati: There are several indicators. The main one is the success of the development and approval of the Lutrate® three-month formulation, a hormonal androgen deprivation therapy to prevent tumor growth in patients with advanced prostate cancer. This has allowed GP Pharm and its partners to launch in Spain and other European countries establishing a Lutrate® franchise, which includes a one-month formulation. In addition, we foresee growth related to new products that have successfully completed development, including the increase of our CDMO activities during the last few years, and the consolidation of our marketing activities in the Spanish market.
Insight: You have a variety of ready to market products to out-license to Europe, Latin America, MENA region and Canada. You are also in the process of introducing your portfolio in US and Asia. Tell me about your products, i.e., your licensing-in / out opportunities.
Ponsati: GP Pharm’s aim is to bring our in-house developed products to the European market. In the last years, we have succeeded in the development, approval and commercialization of different innovative products in Europe and we are now targeting other markets including the United States, Canada, and more. We also have various ongoing registrations that we hope will allow us to enter these markets soon. Regarding the in-licensing activities, we have built our own commercial structure in Spain where we focus on our strategy for Hospital products in the areas of Urology and Oncology. We consistently seek products that are aligned with our strategy in the Spanish market that could enrich our portfolio.
Insight: You have expressed interest in new innovations in the sector in the Iberian-American market, and this has been a point of focus for you at partnering events. Tell me about your current partnering strategy for BIO-Europe Spring® in Barcelona.
Ponsati: I believe partnering is the key to pursuing our interest in international expansion. BIO-Europe Spring offers an excellent opportunity to network with pharmaceutical companies from all around the world with whom we might have synergies. Especially with companies that are targeting innovative and generic plus products for their markets. We consider this event an excellent platform to explore future collaborations with other companies.
Insight: What do you think Spanish companies have to offer, in general, in terms of innovation?
Ponsati: The recent years have been quite difficult for the pharma sector in Spain due to the economic crisis. However, the pharmaceutical companies are doing a great job of putting most of their efforts into international expansion while they keep an eye on the Spanish market. Furthermore, we have a great number of spin-off companies in the Spanish pharma sector that are achieving excellent results and will most likely provide the market with new products and/or technologies in the coming years.
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Editor-in-Chief, InsightFollow on Twitter More Content by Erin Righetti