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Almirall, Esteve and Palau Pharma work together to go one step forward in arthrosis R+D

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Almirall, Esteve and Uriach (owner of the biotechnological company Palau Pharma) have decided to renew the collaboration with Neogenius Pharma. This is the economic interest group (AEI) with which three years ago they jointly presented to the Cenit program of the Science and Innovation Ministry, which funds integrated R+D projects in the industry sector.

Neogenius Pharma, project in which they collaborate with the Basque biotechnological company Proteomika, will centre its efforts in the new drug discovery to fight against arthrosis, as it states in financial newspaper Expansión in its edition of this 23rd October. The new economic interest group, which has applied to 2009 Cenit program call, will have a duration of four years with a budget of 21.5 million Euros. The project promoters estimate that 24% of the budget has to come from collaborations with universities and public research centres, while 15% will correspond to the collaboration with technological companies.

Almirall and Esteve are the main Catalan pharmaceutical companies with 2008 sales of 902.8 million and 805 million Euros, respectively. Palau Pharma was born in 2006 as a spin-off from Uriach's R+D division and is shareholdered by family Uriach, Caixa Catalunya, Caja Duero, Capital Najeti and Andosins Capital. It is the first Catalan biotechnological company, with a hundred of researchers in staff.

Almirall resources allocated to R+D grew 14.1% until 139.3 million Euros in year 2008. As regards 2009, the company's president and managing director, Jorge Gallardo, explains that "we will continue with our strategy of concentrating in some therapeutic areas and will continue evaluating new opportunities of licenses and acquisitions which will allow us offer the best therapeutic solutions with the maximum profitability." On the other hand, Esteve plans to duplicate the investment in research and development in the next five years. Between 2005 and 2009, 300 million have been assigned by the company to R+D.

Almirall and Esteve are members of Biocat association.

Photo: Jorge Gallardo, president and managing director of Laboratorios Almirall.

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