BIAL has reached an agreement with the German company Roxall to sell its allergic immunotherapy business unit, known as BIAL Aristegui, dedicated to the development, production and commercialization of anti-allergic vaccines and diagnostic tests.
This operation includes the commercial areas dedicated to allergology in Spain, Portugal and Italy, which represented 7% of BIAL’s global turnover in 2016, as well as the R&D and industrial unit located in Bilbao, involving around 100 employees who will become integrated into Roxall.
BIAL’s operations in allergic immunotherapy go back to 1998 with the acquisition of the Aristegui company in Spain, with activities in this area and with a small activity in the medicines field. This was the first big step in the path of BIAL’s internationalization. Over the past 19 years BIAL has developed and expanded the business of anti-allergic vaccines in Spain, Portugal and Italy, building in 2011 an Integrated Production and Research Unit, located in the Biscay Science and Technology Park, Bilbao and investing in the research of new vaccines.
The sale of the allergic immunotherapy business will allow BIAL to concentrate its activity on the Research and Development (R&D) of new medicines for the central nervous and cardiovascular systems and strengthening its international expansion, particularly in Europe, with full commitment to neuroscience in its affiliates in Spain, Germany, United Kingdom and Italy. All BIAL’s research and industrial operations will be concentrated in Portugal.
BIAL will maintain the pharma business unit in Spain, which has had a substantial development, with a range of products focused on neurology, internal medicine, cardiology and women’s health, and a structure of around 170 employees. With a pharma turnover of 60 million euros in 2016, the Spanish market will continue to be a priority in the company’s internationalization program.
“BIAL is a pharmaceutical group with a strong commitment to innovation and this sale will allow a greater focus on our strategic objectives. We will concentrate our investments in R&D of neurosciences and cardiovascular, where we are gathering infrastructures and skills to become internationally stronger and more competitive. At the same time, we are strengthening our presence and operations abroad, in particular in Europe, allowing our innovative neuroscience medicines to reach more and more patients”, said António Portela, CEO of BIAL.
BIAL is developing a strong R&D program, with an annual average investment of 50 million euros, both in terms of its research project and in doubling its current R&D facilities. The company’s main goal is to strengthen its innovation products’ portfolio, continuing the development program of its epilepsy medicine (Zebinix®, eslicarbazepine acetate) – globally launched since 2009 – and Parkinson’s disease (Ongentys®, opicapone) – which is being launched, since October, throughout Europe – as well as other projects in the field of neuroscience and cardiovascular system.
BIAL is also investing around 12 million euros to improve its infrastructures and increase its production capacity.
With medicines available in more than 55 countries, BIAL’s strategic goal is to strengthen its international expansion, particularly in Europe.
Founded in 1924, BIAL’s mission is to discover, develop and provide therapeutic solutions within the area of health. In recent decades, BIAL has strategically focused on quality, innovation and internationalization.
On average, in recent years, BIAL has channelled more than 20% of its annual turnover to R&D in neurosciences and cardiovascular system, which, in the last couple of years, represented around 50 million euros each year. Following the 2009 launch of Zebinix® (eslicarbazepine acetate) for epilepsy, already marketed in most European countries and in the US as Aptiom®, at the end of 2016 BIAL launched Ongentys® (opicapone) for Parkinson’s disease. Already available in Germany and in the United Kingdom, it will be introduced in the remaining European countries throughout 2017.
Currently representing around two thirds of its turnover, BIAL will continue to reinforce its international presence over the next decade, particularly in the most important European pharmaceutical markets, Spain, Germany, United Kingdom and Italy, where the company is already present with its own affiliates.