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Roberts Pharmaceutical Corp.

Division of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.

Latest From Roberts Pharmaceutical Corp.

Biotech's Euro-Marketing Gambit

Europe presents a big opportunity--but also significant challenges--to niche players seeking to expand. Some firms--such as US group Cephalon--have bought big in Europe, others like Shire and Celltech have made do with smaller acquisitions onto which they hope to build their own tailored infrastructure. No single approach is the same, and none has yet proven a clear winner. But all depend on finding the right products.
BioPharmaceutical Strategy

Orion: Overcoming Inexperience

Finland's mid-80s decision to expand patenting inspired Orion Pharma to begin its own research. The firm quickly showed itself to be innovative and productive: coming up with several drugs interesting to Big Pharma licensees. But Orion has had difficulty turning its scientific achievement into commercial success. Partnering has not always gone well, while lack of management structures and limited funding have also hindered progress. Recent setbacks with Simdax, a drug for heart failure, spotlight the challenges of running effective clinical trials and gathering data for international regulators. Orion says it has learned its lessons, and instituted changes to help it overcome past problems. R&D and commercial operations are more closely managed; priorities are set and respected. The firm believes it can still make a success of Simdax, and has even higher hopes for the anti-anxiety drug that's next in its pipeline. A new partnership with Pharmacia brings it cash and expert assistance. Orion seems increasingly aware of, and able to meet, the challenges of being a Scandinavian company in a competitive international industry.
Strategy Business Strategies

Shire Shifts Upstream

Shire's latest acquisition, of Canada's BioChem Pharma, is its sixth in as many years, and the clearest sign yet of the shift which the UK-based specialty pharmaceutical company has to make towards earlier-stage research in order to keep up its impressive growth. Behind this growth is its low-risk Search & Development strategy: it seeks out promising, undervalued specialist-market drugs which it develops for new indications, or else finds new formulations for, after which it hands them on to its highly focused marketing and sales teams. A series of acquisitions-bolting on products, development programs and skills-has allowed Shire to quickly expand globally and broaden its portfolio. But as drugs get harder to find and more expensive, the company has had to throw its S&D net wider.
BioPharmaceutical Strategy

A Gut Feeling

The gastrointestinal market has traditionally split into two categories: the heartburn diseases GERD and ulcer, and "other." The former category has yielded blockbuster successes for several large companies, including SmithKline Beecham and AstraZeneca. Those markets have plateaued, however, and now companies are casting about for follow-on products in GI. Large companies and small companies have begun to venture into the "other" GI diseases, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease. These diseases are all difficult to diagnose, and the mechanisms that underpin them are still unknown. Furthermore, the diseases are multi-factorial, immunological inflammatory diseases and drug discovery is challenging. While waiting for new drugs, many small companies find the market controlled by 10,000 gastroenterologists in the US to be a niche opportunity that represents a large market that can be targeted with a small salesforce. Device companies too have a role to play, in giving gastros new procedures that keep patients in their franchise, which is encroached upon by GPs and general surgeons.
BioPharmaceutical Medical Device
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