Astrazeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three main therapy areas - respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune disease (ria), cardiovascular and metabolic disease (cvmd) and oncology – as well as in infection and neuroscience.
Proven experience and firmly committed to innovation
Astrazeneca today has over 40 years' experience in the field of respiratory medicine, a strategically important area for the company and one of its principal research priorities. It invested 4 billion dollars in R&D in 2014 and has 9,000 professionals working worldwide on research. In Spain alone it held a total of 40 clinical trials last year, with over 2,800 patients, 327 research units and over 1,000 medical professionals.
According to Gonzalo de Miquel, Vicepresident Development of Astrazeneca R&R, “we wish to continue to bolster the respiratory area at our firm while strengthening spain's position as a global strategic hub. Barcelona’s tradition of research and recognized expertise in respiratory diseases makes this country an ideal place to develop one of our key business areas”.
Barcelona, an important R&D centre
Catalonia’s capital city represented the perfect ecosystem for the company’s growth plans in innovation. According to Gonzalo de Miquel, Barcelona was selected for this new R&D centre because it has “the presence of qualified pharmaceutical professionals, a long-standing tradition of respiratory medicine and its network of researchers, hospitals and universities”.
The centre, which complements the group’s existing offices in Madrid, was made possible thanks to the acquisition of Almirall's respiratory business in 2014. The operation, valued at 878 million dollars, is expected to increase up to 2,095 million dollars with future product launches and sales. While the Madrid offices work for the spanish market, the Barcelona centre—which also includes the respiratory diseases marketing division—will report to the groups´ international headquarters, this multidisciplinary space, employs a team of 75 highly specialized professionals dedicated to developing inhalation treatments for respiratory diseases, as well as their positioning and global strategy.
An investment based in science
The centre was opened on may 17th, 2015, and was attended by the Catalan Government’s Honourable Minister for Enterprise and Labour, Mr. Felip Puig, as well as by representatives of Catalonia Trade & Investment. For Catalonia Trade & Investment this investment is extremely important bearing in mind that with the purchase of Almirall’s respiratory division, Astrazeneca has now finally established itself in Barcelona. There is also satisfaction that the firm is maintaining the 150 workers from Almirall in the new structure, not to mention the fact that barcelona has been selected to be home to the company’s sole R&D centre in Spain.
This investment forms part of Astrazeneca's long term business strategy, with which it wants to become the global leader in personalized inhaler treatments for asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (copd)and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (ipf), as well as investigating other medical needs for these conditions, which, according to the World Health Organisation, are suffered by 235 million people with asthma around the world, with copd being the third highest cause of death by 2030.