PHARMACEUTICAL company Leon Farma, based in Villaquilambre (Leon, northern Spain), is about to launch what it described as a ‘very potent’ contraceptive which women could nevertheless use while breastfeeding. Manufacturing this entirely new generic product, was “enormously complex” explained Pedro Andres, president of the Chemo group to which Leon Farma belongs.
The new contraceptive, which is to be marketed by the multinational Sandoz, will be available in the United States this month and is expected to be obtainable in Spain before the end of June.
Chemo already sells to the United States, Argentina and Brazil but also plans to concentrate on Eastern Europe, including Croatia and Slovenia, where it has been present since the beginning of the year, together with Poland, Hungary and Russia.
Since arriving in Villaquilambre in 2006, Leon Farma had experienced significant growth, increasing its original production capacity of 300 million capsules to the present 600 million, said Andres.
Thanks to a €5 million investment it had also grown in other direction and now employed 100 staff, while restructuring meant that Leon Farma was beginning to show a profit.
This had to be regarded as a sign of success, claimed Pedro Andres, since it was unusual for a business to make money in such a short space of time.
Leon Farma’s goal was to continue growing, to market new products and, above all, to establish the factory both nationally and internationally, particularly in Europe and the United States.
Specific attention would be paid to hormones, as no Spanish factory produced these at present.
Chemo had “bet heavily” on the Leon plant but the bet had paid off and things were going well, according to Andres.
He also appreciated the help the company had received in Leon, said the Chemo president, and hoped to duplicate production, although no dates had yet been set “as this depended on how the markets evolved.”
Pharmaceuticals were a privileged sector although no-one was entirely untouched by the crisis, Andres acknowledged: “But we’re managing, even though generic prices have dropped by 60 per cent.”