Recordati adopts Orphan Europe

By Mike Nagle

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Rare disease

Eighty-year-old Italian pharma company Recordati believes its
future lies in rare diseases and has put its money where its mouth
is by spending €135m on speciality firm Orphan Europe.

The acquired company's name says it all: it is a European firm that specialises in developing therapies to treat rare or 'orphan' diseases. "We believe that the market for drugs that treat rare diseases will grow significantly as a result of the identification of a constantly increasing number of rare diseases and the growing awareness which leads to more patients being diagnosed and treated,"​ declared Giovanni Recordati, CEO of the company of the same name. Orphan diseases are defined by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as those conditions affecting les than 200,000 people in the US or those for which there is "no reasonable expectation"​ of the cost of developing being recovered from drug sales. In Europe, the official definition of a rare disease is a disease affecting less than five in 10, 000 inhabitants, and which is fatal, or severely debilitating. There are between 6,000 and 8,000 diseases that fall into this classification and despite financial incentives to develop 'orphan drugs', only 200-300 of these have marketed therapies, according to Orphan Europe. Dr Recordati believes his company can take advantage of this and should focus on specialist areas. For its money, Recordati gets a company with around 120 personnel, subsidiaries in 10 different countries and offices in seven. Perhaps more importantly, Orphan Europe currently markets 10 drugs and therefore has in-depth knowledge of authorities and procedures, at both EC and national levels, to develop, receive marketing approval and distribute orphan drugs. Furthermore, Recordati will also get increased access to academic researchers thanks to the Orphan Europe Academy, which "provides healthcare professionals with the opportunity to share and increase knowledge, develop new ideas, and strengthen scientific collaboration in the area of rare diseases." ​ Dr Recordati continued: "Our increasing geographic coverage together with the additional expertise in handling highly specialised products should also stimulate our ongoing in- licensing activity."​ He added that Recordati intends to manage Orphan Europe independently from the rest of the group. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of the year, subject to clearance from anti-trust authorities.

Related topics Preclinical Research Preclinical

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