Bringing together insights from the heads of some of Europe’s most prominent mid-cap pharma firms. The leaders of Ipsen, Genmab, Pierre Fabre, Esteve and Servier outline the strategic directions in which their companies are turning and how they are planning to ensure a successful future.


David Meek, Ipsen

David Meek

David Meek holds the rare distinction of being the only American CEO in the entire SBF 120 (Société des Bourses Françaises 120 Index), the stock index provided by the Paris Bourse. His extensive international experience has given him the foundation to expand the French company into a global organization with hubs in the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as a Chinese affiliate. He considers collaboration between industry, patients, researchers, payers and other actors across the care continuum to be of utmost importance in order to remain innovative.

We are built around a culture of open innovation

“We have a very clear vision – Ipsen is a global biopharmaceutical leader focused on innovation and Specialty Care. This vision inspires the leaders and the leaders inspire the change. Ipsen has been a great company for many years, but our recent unprecedented success can be largely attributed to our newfound resolve and sense of purpose.”

“We are built around a culture of open innovation. This approach is fast making us a partner of choice from early stage development and academic partnerships, through to late stage and product commercialization. Our external innovation strategy that we started to roll out a few years ago explicitly targets the volume of global partnerships that we seek to enter into.”

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Jan van de Winkel, Genmab

Genmab is an international biotechnology company focusing on differentiated antibody therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. The company CEO, Jan van de Winkel counts over 25 years of experience in immunology and has worked at Genmab since its inception in 1999, being named CEO of the Copenhagen-headquartered company in 2010. His keys to success in becoming profitable have included emphasizing partnerships with pharma and biotech companies, collaborating with researchers at world-renowned Utrecht University, and gaining a financial foothold in the United States.

The company has a very strong innovation mindset: it’s a very creative team of uniquely talented individuals who are truly passionate about creating new drugs  that can profoundly impact people’s lives

“Our employees are stimulated to move the boundaries, as we allow them to make mistakes so they continue to try new things. We bring in unique talent and get them to work together as one team.”

“You need only one breakthrough molecule to create a success story, and we hope we can do that. We very much look forward to bringing daratumumab to the market via our partner Janssen. We have priority review in the US as well as accelerated assessment in Europe. This is the first time the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has given accelerated assessment to be considered for a drug tested in a single arm trial in phase II.”

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Éric Ducournau, Pierre Fabre Group

Éric Ducournau was appointed CEO of Pierre Fabre, the second largest dermo-cosmetic company worldwide and the third-largest French pharmaceutical laboratory, in July 2018 after holding various positions of increasing responsibility in the company since 2000. The company’s current focus is medicalization and investing a substantial percent of its revenues into R&D. Pierre Fabre’s pharmaceutical division is focused on cutting-edge melanoma and colorectal cancer therapies.

More than a French or even European company, Pierre Fabre is truly an international company and will become even more so in the future

“In order to differentiate ourselves from competitors and remain the preferred partner of choice for pharmacies and patients alike, we need to be able to demonstrate our products’ efficacy and safety to dermatologists. As a result, we must conduct robust clinical trials. Our expertise is reflected in the fact we are the only cosmetics company able to regularly publish clinical results in prestigious medical publications in the field of dermatology such as the British Journal of Dermatology.”

“More than a French or even European company, Pierre Fabre is truly an international company and will become even more so in the future. We aim to reach EUR three (USD 3.36) billion in revenues by 2024 with 70 percent of the total generated outside France, compared to 63 percent today. By this time, Pierre Fabre prescription drugs and dermo-cosmetics businesses should be of the same size and with the same international footprint.”

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Staffan Schüberg, Esteve

Staffan Schüberg has served as CEO of Barcelona-based Esteve since early 2018 and is committed to taking the company from global contract manufacturing partner to CDMO (Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization) through strategic partnerships and M&A opportunities.

We have world-class experience here, and we see these areas as highly attractive from a long-term commercial perspective

“We have an ambitious vision to become a global proprietary specialty pharma company. The company’s core strengths in innovative drug discovery, development, and manufacturing give me tremendous confidence that we can achieve this vision.”

“If you look at our pipeline and the expertise of our overall R&D organization, you will see that we have a core strength in neuroscience and gene therapy. We have world-class experience here, and we see these areas as highly attractive from a long-term commercial perspective. Our deep knowledge allows us to recognize the emerging challenges and opportunities in these areas, ultimately giving us a strategic advantage.”

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Olivier Laureau, Servier Group

Olivier Laureau, Servier Group’s first CEO after founder Jacques Servier, has his sights set on expansion into the US oncology market and building a state-of-the art research centre to be completed in 2021. In recent months the company has been steadily opening up to the public eye and undergoing a thorough modernization under Laureau’s expert leadership.

We are hopeful that in the future our oncology revenues will be on par with those from our cardiovascular treatments

“Growing our oncology franchise has been a point of focus in the strategy we outlined four years ago. Oncology is one of our main therapeutic areas, along with cardiovascular – which still represents over 50 percent of our sales – chronic venous diseases, neuropsychiatric diseases, internal medicine diseases such as diabetes and immune-inflammatory disease. We are hopeful that in the future our oncology revenues will be on par with those from our cardiovascular treatments.”

“One of Servier’s key points of attractiveness is the mix between the quality of our existing and upcoming projects and the fact that we offer an exceptional working environment when it comes to access to the latest and most advanced technologies. The clarity of the strategy we laid out four years ago and our consistency in delivering it are important factors in retaining and attracting quality talents.”

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