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Servier strengthens its commitment in Brazil

13/02/2015

Servier strengthens its commitment in Brazil

Present in Brazil for over 50 years, the Servier Group continues to make the country a key area of its international development strategy.

In keeping with his visits to Canada and China in 2014, Servier President Olivier Laureau visited the company’s main Brazilian facilities in early February 2015 before his trip to Russia, scheduled for the first half of the same year.

 

Servier in Brazil – A 50-year presence

Servier currently employs over 500 members of staff distributed between a clinical research centre, a production unit and a promotion unit. Within the next 4 years the number of employees is expected to exceed 650.

It was in the 1950s when Servier first entered the Brazilian market – by means of licenses. The company then went on to create its first Latin American subsidiary in the 1980s, followed by an International Centre for Therapeutic Research (ICTR) in the mid-1990s.

Since the mid-2000s, all of Servier’s activities have been concentrated on a single site located in Rio de Janeiro. Then in 2012 the Servier Group developed its generics business in Brazil through the company Pharlab.

 

The Jacarepaguá site in Rio de Janeiro

The Servier site is located in Jacarepaguá, an industrial area to the west of Rio de Janeiro. Equipped to the highest technological standards, it houses the production facilities that currently supply the local market. A total of 78 people are employed in production at this modern and environmentally friendly new site opened in 2009, with its architecture, designed by Jan Losowski, inspired by traditional Brazilian residences.

Jacarepaguá also houses Servier’s Brazilian ICTR, one of the Group’s 19 ICTRs worldwide. Back in the 1990s, this research centre used to focus its activity on diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Nowadays it participates in clinical development programmes across all of Servier’s therapeutic areas. Lastly, Jacarepaguá also serves as the headquarters of Servier do Brasil, a subsidiary of Servier in the country.

Servier facilities in Jacarepaguá

 

Servier’s commitments in Brazil

Strongly committed at the local level, Servier is involved in many public-private partnerships promoting the development of health in the country.

The Professor Sergio Ferreira Prize

The Professor Sergio Ferreira Prize, a joint initiative between Servier do Brasil and the Brazilian Society of Cardiology, honouring clinical research in hypertension, will be awarded for the first time this year.

This award pays tribute to one of Brazil’s most illustrious researchers. Professor Ferreira is responsible for discovering the key role of bradykinin and the inhibition of the angiotensin-converting enzyme in the control of hypertension and its cardiovascular complications.

Science Without Borders

Servier also participates in the Science Without Borders programme launched following the 2013 visit of the President of France to Brazil. Supervised by the MEDEF, the programme seeks to promote academic exchanges between France and Brazil. Companies participating in Science Without Borders commit to providing yearly internships to Brazilian students within their structures.

 

Servier, partner of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ)

Founded in 1900 under the name Federal Serum Therapy Institute, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) was originally tasked with fighting Brazil’s major public health issues.

Signature of a public- private contract between Servier and FIOCRUZ

Today, its mission is broader and encompasses research, technological development and innovation, the production of vaccines, drugs, reagents and diagnostic kits, clinical research, delivery of reference health services, education and training of human resources, information and communication, product quality control and the implementation of social programmes. Positioned as an institute of excellence and innovation, the Foundation is a major health player in Brazil and possesses 7 R&D units, 2 health schools and 2 highly regarded hospitals. FIOCRUZ participates in the training of technical teams for the Ministry of Health and various public health institutes. With pharmaceutical companies, relations focus on the transfer of skills and technology.

In October 2014, an international cooperation agreement was signed between FIOCRUZ, Servier do Brasil, the Servier Research Institute and the Servier Group in order to establish scientific and technical cooperation for the development of programmes, projects and activities, particularly in the areas of research, technological development and health.

Four programmes have already been defined, covering specific areas of activity such as the detection of counterfeit products, the screening of active molecules, the development of a laboratory for non-clinical investigations and scientific exchanges.

Detection of counterfeit products Within the framework of scientific cooperation, Servier do Brasil has placed the skills of the Group and its R&D at the disposal of FIOCRUZ in the fight against counterfeiting, especially in spectroscopy and chemometrics.

Screening of active molecules Servier and FIOCRUZ are joining forces in the discovery of pharmacologically active molecules. The partners will test a selection of molecules from FIOCRUZ, particularly in the field of oncology. The Servier Research Centre in Croissy will offer use of its facilities to perform the screenings. The tests will be carried out by FIOCRUZ researchers using the expertise of Servier’s Chemistry-Biology Biotechnology Pole of Expertise.

Non-clinical investigations laboratory In order to contribute to the Brazilian Ministry of Health’s strategy of establishing a non-clinical investigations laboratory, teams from FIOCRUZ and Servier will work together to develop the sharing of expertise in this area.

Scientific exchanges The partnership will also promote exchanges between researchers from Servier and FIOCRUZ, especially in the domain of oncology and neuroscience. These exchanges are a key factor in discovery and therapeutic innovation.

 

Brazil, a key area in the overall development strategy in Latin America

Servier is now present in more than 20 Latin American countries, either through direct sites, distributors or partners. Since the 1980s, Servier has sought to strengthen its presence in the region through the establishment of subsidiaries in Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and more recently in Colombia in February 2014.

To support its development in the Latin American region, the leading independent French pharmaceutical group has relied on collaborations with Teaching Hospitals to identify the countries’ medical needs and establish effective collaboration with local specialist physicians.

Originally Servier’s activity focused primarily on diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. More recently, the establishment of two ICTRs in Brazil and Argentina allows Servier to offer programmes in all therapeutic areas of the Group in oncology, cardiology, Alzheimer’s disease and orphan diseases.

Today, Brazil is the priority country for Servier’s development strategy in Latin America, due in part to its long-time presence in the country and the partnerships that have been built there, but also to the opportunities presented by this market.

 

The Brazilian market, a favourable context

Brazil, with its 205 million inhabitants, is the fifth most populated country in the world and the seventh largest economy. Considered an emerging power, Brazil has great potential for development. The growth of the purchasing power of the middle class enables Brazil to be considered as a strategic market in many economic sectors.

Rio de Janeiro

At present only 1% of Brazil’s GDP is devoted to medicines. Reimbursement systems there only concern certain categories of medicines and its health sector is a two-tier system with many Brazilians still not having real access to treatment.

This situation should change in the coming years through further reforms and the development of the purchasing power of the middle class. Indeed, prospective studies predict that the Brazilian healthcare market will have moved up to 4th place by 2018.

The country’s healthcare needs are major. The system’s structure explains the central place given today by local decision-makers to the development of generics and to public-private partnership agreements. The challenge is to provide low-cost treatments for AIDS, cancer and tropical diseases. Even today, many patients remain undiagnosed or untreated: out of the 34 million Brazilians with hypertension, only 9 million are receiving treatment and out of the 24 million diabetics, fewer than 3 million are receiving treatment.

 

Development prospects for Servier do Brasil

With 18% growth, Servier ranks 13th on the market of reference laboratories in Brazil and 30th on the total market when including generics.

Servier’s investment in Brazil as well as the teams and infrastructures in place explain the Group’s ambitious goals for the next 5 years, which are to achieve 8th place in the ethical market and an average growth of 20%.

From a therapeutic point of view, Servier is focussing on innovations in the fields of cancer and diabetes in particular thanks to its partnership with Intarcia and continues its work committed to cardiology, venous diseases and diabetes.

Servier will materialise the agreements made with Brazilian government entities such as FIOCRUZ in order to support the development of the health sector in Brazil and enrich its partnerships with INCOR in cardiology and INCA in oncology, institutions of reference in Latin America.

Brazil is the cornerstone of Servier’s activity in Latin America. The French laboratory now has a full presence there with a research centre, a production unit, a promotion unit, generics activity and numerous partnerships with the country’s public and private players.

By developing and actively strengthening its public-private partnerships, it is Servier’s ambition to present itself as a real player in the development of health in Brazil. The association with FIOCRUZ, which is now the leading health institution in Brazil, and the development of research agreements dedicated to oncology and neuroscience, underline Servier’s ambition to share its development and production know-how in order to promote research and access to care for a growing share of the population.

 

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