Press review

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Grifols stays in Catalonia because its business is elsewhere in Spain and overseas

Country : U.S., UK, Spain

Keywords :
MADRID, Oct 20 (APM) - Grifols is the only listed Catalan firm which has not moved out of the region due to political agitation, but in fact the company took a substantial part of its business to Ireland last year, and sales across Spanish regions are guaranteed by a monopolistic market, financial Cinco Días and El Economista reported on Monday.
All autonomous regions have to buy the blood derivatives they need from Grifols because it is the only company authorised to sell these in Spain, “a privilege it has enjoyed for over 25 years”, El Economista said.
In a related Tuesday story, the financial added that Bayer and Boehringer have already made plans to leave Barcelona should the situation worsen.
Grifols’ president Víctor Grifols will be forever haunted by his words to former Catalan president Artur Mas, to whom he said “go ahead, do not budge”, back in 2014 when he was preparing an independence referendum which never happened.
However, he did not listen to nationalists when he decided to take a substantial part of its business to Ireland last year, Cinco Días reported on Monday.
On Friday, financial Expansión notes that the company has its tax address is in the U.S, while daily La Razón reported that Pangea Oncology has been added to the list of pharmaceutical companies which have left the region to avoid political problems.

Biotech CEO tells of biosimilars’ capacity to curb drug spend

In a Thursday interview, Dámaso Molero, CEO of biotech 3P Biopharmaceuticals, told financial Cinco Días about the firm’s origins, its goals and how biosimilars can reduce the country’s drug bill.
Molero told the financial that the firm is focused on the most prevalent diseases of the future - cancer, immunological conditions, allergies, and cardiovascular and dermatological diseases.
He said even though Spain is a strong country in terms of scientific activities, the country’s biotech industry is way behind that of other countries due to a lack of capacity to turn basic research into actual drugs. According to Molero, more private, public and foreign funds are needed to take research to its full potential.
He added that the high risk of manufacturing biosimilars and the investment they require should be taken into account.

Onzeald presented as 'promising' for breast cancer with brain metastases

Nektar Therapeutics’ Onzeald (etirinotecan pegol) was presented as a promising therapy for breast cancer with brain metastases in a Thursday story in daily La Razón. The CHMP rejected it in July because its benefit had not been sufficiently demonstrated. (APMHE 54018)
La Razón carried the headline: “A promising drug doubles survival in brain metastases”.
On Tuesday, daily La Vanguardia carried a similar story about Onzeald, including comments by three oncologists from Baselga Oncology Institute (IOB).

Allergan’s U.S. patent strategy backfires

Shares of Allergan fell 5% on Monday after a U.S. court invalidated patents on the firm’s drug Restasis (cyclosporine), which Allergan had tried to protect by selling it to a Native American tribe, financial Cinco Días reported on Wednesday. (APMHE 55181)
Considering U.S. president Donald Trump’s “war against the industry”, Allergan’s strategy does not do pharmas any favours. The move contradicts Allergan CEO Brent Saunders’ comments last year about the company’s commitment to patients and the need for fair pricing, the financial noted.

Catalan conflict damages Spain’s bid for EMA

During the presentation of Barcelona’s bid to host EMA after Brexit the impact of the Catalan conflict on the candidacy was patent, daily El País reported on Thursday.
To the question: “What are the chances for Barcelona to host EMA after Brexit considering the disturbances in Catalonia have already forced almost one thousand companies to leave the region?” the answer is "very few", the daily said.
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