Pierre Fabre: Time to Reap R&D Rewards In-House
Recent Big Pharma deals validate Pierre Fabre's productive research, and underline mid-sized pharmas' importance as a product source. But the French group hasn't yet fully capitalized on its R&D.
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Late-stage COPD candidate aclidinium could transform mid-sized Almirall. This is what’s exciting the dozen or more analysts that cover such long-acting muscarinic antagonists; it’s the potential $2 billion drug that “could double or treble the size of this company in a very short time,” sums up one analyst. At the same time, the newly-listed company's other challenge is to monetize the fruits of its primary-care-focused R&D in a world that's going specialist.
Solvay's acquisition of France's Fournier suggests that there is value within Europe's family-owned, domestically-focused groups, and at good prices. The deal will boost Solvay's earnings until its own pipeline matures, although some question the potential for longer-term synergies.
Several of the most small molecule-minded of drug firms have recently made significant moves to increase their macromolecule activities. They now face the formidable task of quickly building the specialized capabilities needed to compete with the more well-entrenched large-molecule players. These relative newcomers vary in their levels of commitment and approaches--from those building or acquiring substantial in-house capabilities and looking to develop biomolecules across a wide range of therapeutic areas to others who favor dealmaking to acquire protein drugs.