R&D Strategy

At Ferrer, we focus on identifying projects with differential value


We consider innovation an inherent part of our pharmaceutical activities, and we have always upheld our commitment to searching for and developing new treatment alternatives aimed at responding to unmet medical needs in order to create value for patients, doctors, health systems and society at large.

With our R&D activity, Ferrer aims to achieve a portfolio of projects with differential treatment value, balanced in terms of risk and degree of innovation, incremental and disruptive, and centred on the company's two therapeutic areas of focus:

The objective of the company's R&D activities is to create value for patients, health systems and society at large by responding to unmet medical needs.

With these shared, aligned strategic objectives, the company's R&D activity is distributed across four units:


R&D Search and Evaluation

R&D Search and Evaluation is the department within the R&D Area that seeks and identifies new innovation projects of external or internal origin that align with Ferrer's R&D strategy. Evaluation is conducted in close collaboration with other departments in cross-functional teams. The Ferrer Open capture platform promotes and facilitates contact with the most innovative players in the ecosystem to attract and, in some cases, co-create treatment solutions with added value that fall within Ferrer's areas of specialisation: pulmonary vascular and interstitial lung diseases and neurological disorders.

R&D Portfolio Management

The R&D Portfolio Management department handles the innovation portfolio and leads projects to create a more sustainable, transparent and efficient R&D. It promotes sustainability by aligning the portfolio with the business strategy and managing the entry of new projects. It promotes efficiency and transparency in the management and leadership of R&D projects through multidisciplinary coordination, teamwork, communication and monitoring of milestones and results. It manages the committee for incorporating new projects and the committee for monitoring projects in the portfolio.

Estrategia I+D
Estrategia I+D

Digital health and technology

This department leads innovation in digital health, the meeting point of technology, health, healthcare and society. Through the "Ferrer 4 Future" programme, we put challenges to the entrepreneurial ecosystem and collaborate with technology-based companies to solve them. In 2020, we focused on solutions for neurological disorders that present with movement abnormalities.


This is how the Staccato® system works

How the Staccato® system works

The Staccato device contains a rapid heating system capable of reaching very high temperatures in as little as 100 milliseconds, so that the unformulated active ingredient, deposited in a thin layer on a stainless steel substrate, is vaporised. When the patient inhales through the Staccato system, the surface of the stainless steel substrate is instantly heated, creating aerosolised drug particles.
The patient inhales these particles, and their size allows them to reach the deepest and most vascularised areas of the lung. This achieves rapid and complete absorption into the bloodstream.


Our projects in development:


pipeline ingles

The Project FNP 002 in the field of epilepsy has been licensed to UCB.

Projects funded by the European Regional Development Funds (ERDF)


  • Ferrer has been granted with a financial aid for its Research and Development Project named FAB117-HC “New Allogeneic Cellular medicinal product for the Treatment of Patients with Acute Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury. Regulatory Study Phase I / II“. The Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) manages this financial aid that is co-funded by the European Regional Development Funds. FAB117-HC is an investigational medicinal product whose active substance is HC016, allogeneic adipose-derived adult mesenchymal stem cells, and the main objective of the project is to evaluate the safety and tolerability of a single administration of FAB117-HC (ClinicalTrials.gov.Identifier:NCT02917291). The partially refundable grant approved amounts to € 688,857.

  • ADVANCE (CAT) is a consortium led by the University of Barcelona and Ferrer, made up of by eighteen reference health organizations. As such, it integrates the main biomedical research and teaching centers in Catalonia, as well as public bodies , private foundations and Catalan healthcare companies.

    The aim of the ADVANCECAT project is to create an organizational structure to accelerate the development of new advanced therapy medicines, for better management of resources in order to obtain the maximum benefit in the Catalan health system. The creation of a new collaborative network avoids possible overlaps between the various participating institutions and allows them to work in a coordinated way. The main areas of focus are cell therapy, gene therapy and tissue engineering.

    The key success of the project has been the integration of organizations in the field of biomedical research, its clinical application and its industrial production. Together, strengths and opportunities have been identified to meet the challenges presented in the field of advanced therapies, enhance research and accelerate the development of new products with a qualitative impact on health systems. These serve as a basis for promoting new economic opportunities in Catalonia. Among the most important results of the whole project are the 8 Phase I and II clinical trials of advanced therapies that have been or are being carried out, in which 171 patients have been treated. In addition, 32 articles have been published in international journals and 3 are pending approval.

    Organizations that form part of the ADVANCECAT project:

    University of Barcelona (leader), Ferrer (co-leader), Banc de Sang i Teixits, Barcelona Macula Foundation, Bioibérica SA, Butler Scientifics SL, Centre de Medicina Regenerativa de Barcelona, Fundació Bosch i Gimpera, FC Barcelona Universitas - Muscletech Network, Fundació Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron - Institut de Recerca, Fundació Institut de Bioenginyeria de Catalunya, Fundació Institut d’Investigacions en Ciències de la Salut Germans Trias i Pujol, Fundació Institut de Recerca de l’Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Fundació Leitat - Muscletech Network, Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica August Pi i Sunyer, Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge, Tecnologia Regenerativa Qrem, i Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

    The project is integrated into the NEXTHEALTH community, and has been co-financed by the European Union within the framework of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Catalonia 2014-2020 operational program.

  • Ferrer Internacional S.A. has received a grant of €129.409,99 from the EU ERDF thanks to the energy efficiency aid program in the industrial sector for big companies and SMEs defined in the RD 263/2019 for the remodelling of the cooling water distribution system of the pharmaceutical production plant of Sant Cugat del Vallès (Barcelona) by changing pumps, incorporating variable frequency drives, a new hydraulic circuit and a new electrical and control system. The eligible investment has been €609.537,17 and the estimated energy saving is 42.78 toe / year.

  • Ferrer Internacional has received a grant from the ERDF funds of the European Union amounting to €70,682 for the implementation of LED lighting in the pharmaceutical production plant of Sant Cugat del Vallès (Barcelona). The eligible investment is €308,481 and the energy saving generated is 68.75 toe / year.


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