R&D Strategy

We at Ferrer are focused on identifying projects whose value makes a difference

We at Ferrer are focused on identifying projects whose value makes a difference

Ferrer’s R&D activity aims to respond to medical needs that are not covered by providing innovative solutions. Our pipeline includes projects of differentiated therapeutic value in three strategic areas, namely the central nervous system, pain/cardiometabolism and rare diseases/oncological support therapies. Our portfolio combines disruptive innovation approaches (such as advanced therapies) and incremental type innovations (like the development of value added medicines (VAMs).

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Within the current market access environment, innovation is meant to provide significant clinical value that is acknowledged by the system and its participants in order to guarantee a return.

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Our R&D process

IDENTIFYING NEEDS
IDENTIFYING NEEDS
GENERATING/SEEKING SOLUTIONS
GENERATING/SEEKING SOLUTIONS
SELECTING PROJECTS
SELECTING PROJECTS
PRECLINICAL RESEARCH (IF APPLICABLE))
PRECLINICAL RESEARCH (IF APPLICABLE))
CLINICAL DEVELOPMENT
CLINICAL DEVELOPMENT
 REGISTRATION AND MARKET ACCESS
REGISTRATION AND MARKET ACCESS
LAUNCH AND COMMERCIALISATION
LAUNCH AND COMMERCIALISATION

In line with these shared, aligned strategic objectives, R&D activities are distributed in three divisions:

 
Ferrer advanced biotherapeutics (FAB)

This division is based on an open collaboration model, and it is centred around the search for and incorporation of disruptive projects of high added value, and therefore also of high technical risk. These are projects that are mainly born from academia or from start-ups that have carried out the entire non-regulated initial discovery of the product and who normally have a pre-clinical concept test. These are early collaboration projects that grant access to multi-disciplinary groups that have profound knowledge of the biology of illnesses, the potential targets capable of modifying the evolution of the pathologies and biological and clinical parameters that reflect said evolution.

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FAB

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Ferrer innovation management (FIM)

The objective of the FIM division is that of managing Ferrer’s internal innovation on two levels: identifying needs that have not been covered in the company’s target therapeutic fields and generating and managing in-house research projects to arrive at solutions for these needs. In-house research projects basically entail developing Value Added Medicines (VAMs), which are defined as new medication based on known active ingredients that provide relevant improvements for patients, healthcare professionals and healthcare system managers alike. These improvements might include increased efficiency, safety, quality of life, adherence, new therapeutic options and new administration routes. The products that are developed include new formulations, new indications and combinations (combinations of medication and combinations of medication and devices), as well as digital therapies, both stand-alone and as support for medication. FIM also collaborates with third parties when technology or knowledge that is not internally available are required. Currently, FIM manages development projects that are derived from the life cycle of in-house products being commercialised.

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Estrategia I+D
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Estrategia I+D
Digital Health and Technology

This is the department that drives digital health innovation, the rallying point between technology, health and healthcare provision and living as part of a society. Digital health is centred around building more customised, precise treatments to achieve better clinical results, enriching the experience of patients, healthcare professionals and carers alike while increasing the efficiency and sustainability of healthcare systems to make them more accessible and integrated. 

We use the Ferrer 4 Future programme to challenge the entrepreneurial ecosystem, collaborating with technology companies to resolve the challenges set. Technological solutions offered by start-ups include hardware, like medical devices, and software combined with medication, like cognitive assistants to manage an ailment, but the solution could even come in the form of software that acts as a treatment in and of itself, without the intervention of any medication, in which case, we refer to it as digital therapy.

 

 
Alexza

A Ferrer company based in Palo Alto, California (USA) who owns the Staccato® platform for the administration of active ingredients via the lungs, allowing for kinetics that are similar to those achieved intravenously, but by means of a non-invasive route. Alexza’s projects generate clinical responses just a few minutes after the inhaled administration of the medication, and are oriented towards acute symptomatic treatment of central nervous system pathologies. The use of the platform is available for collaboration with third parties wishing to test their molecules on it. Similarly, Alexza has a portfolio of in-house projects being developed that include a Staccato platform for known compounds available by means of another delivery route.
For more information on Alexza, please visit alexza.com

This is how the Staccato® system works

This is how the Staccato® system works

The Staccato device contains a quick heating system capable of reaching very high temperatures to sublimate the unformulated active ingredient which is deposited as a thin film over a stainless steel substrate. The substrate surface instantaneously heats to create a condensation aerosol the moment the patient draws a breath through the Staccato system. The patient inhales particles of active ingredient whose size allows for reaching deeper, more vascularised areas of the lung. This allows for rapid, complete absorption to the bloodstream.

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Products in the pipeline

 

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM AND PAIN

 
Preclínical
Phase I
Phase II
Phase III
Registration
Commercialisation

FIM 402

Neuropathic pain

 

AZ 020

Epilepsy

 

FAB 117

Acute

medullar lesion

 

AZ 150

Parkinson

 

AZ 010

Cyclic vomiting syndrome

 

FIM 100

Neurorehabilitación

 

FIM 911

Arthrosis

 

CARDIOMETABILISM

 
Preclínical
Phase I
Phase II
Phase III
Registration
Commercialisation

FAB 120

Diabetic retinopath

 

SP 17001

Thoracic aortic aneurysm

 

RARE DISEASES AND ONCOLOGICAL SUPPORT THERAPIES

 
Preclínical
Phase I
Phase II
Phase III
Registration
Commercialisation

FIM 3000

Cachexia

 

SP 13004

Oral Mucositis

 

SP 15001

Acute renal failure

 

 

Alliances and collaborations

 

Ferrer’s constant commitment to innovation means that a strategy of alliances and collaboration with public research bodies and prestigious biotech companies is essential.

ADVANCE (CAT)

ADVANCE (CAT)

 

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.

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