In 2019 PharmaBoardroom had the exclusive opportunity to speak with executives that are heading up some of European pharma’s top companies. These stakeholders provided insights into their visions and strategies for success and how they are embracing innovation as they forge ahead.
David Loew, Executive Vice President, Sanofi Pasteur
Vaccination is the most effective public health intervention in medicine after clean water.
David Loew was appointed as Executive Vice President of France’s Sanofi Pasteur in June 2016. He joined Sanofi in July 2013 as Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations Europe after over 21 years in regional and global management for Roche. In this exclusive interview, Loew discusses the future of vaccines in France and the rest of the world, their strategic role in reducing public healthcare expenditure and the revolutionary force of machine learning that promises to disrupt the vaccines space. He underscores the crucial nature of vaccination as “the most effective public health intervention in medicine after clean water. At a time when governments are increasingly concerned about public budgets, it is necessary to focus on prophylaxis. Achieving higher vaccination rates and creating latest generation vaccines can have a massive impact on enabling the society to stay healthy, without needing to spend additional resources on cures.” He added a positive note about the company’s trajectory, “I am very optimistic about our future growth, which is connected to two main factors. The first is the effort of the government in the creation of a more friendly environment to invest in this field. The second is an observed appetite for innovation, as new vaccine generations exhibit fewer side effects.”
Staffan Schüberg, CEO, Esteve
We are staying true to Esteve’s historical mission of helping patients.
Staffan Schüberg became Chief Executive Officer of the Spanish company Esteve in January 2018 after more than twenty years with Lundbeck, most recently serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. Schüberg’s expert guidance of Lundbeck’s US operation led to the affiliate more than tripling in size during his tenure. In Schüberg’s interview with PharmaBoardroom, he touches on the topic of restructuring the company as it moves towards its new age of being a truly innovative pharmaceutical company on a global level. Furthermore, he highlights the international strategy and the role the US market will play in the future, as well as his aspirations as the company embarks on the exciting journey ahead. He brings to Esteve a set of clear objectives: “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.” Schüberg emphasized the need for adaptability, stating that “in very basic terms, we are staying true to Esteve’s historical mission of helping patients. The pharma market has changed dramatically over the years, and our challenge is to adapt our approach to ensure long-term profitability. And we will do so by leveraging our foundation of innovation.”
Olivier Laureau, CEO, Servier
Our four key values: care, dare to innovate, grow by sharing, and commit to succeed.
Olivier Laureau is Servier Group’s first CEO after founder Jacques Servier. Laureau counts more than 37 years with the company, previously managing purchasing and financial affairs. In recent years the privately-owned company has been steadily opening up to the public eye and undergoing a thorough modernization. When PharmaBoardroom spoke with Laureau, he outlined the impact of recent acquisitions, the significance of Servier’s recently-opened commercial subsidiary in the US, the ongoing importance of France to the global group, and Servier’s unique value proposition as a privately-owned R&D-focused company. Laureau pointed to the company’s unique core values and what it means to be a high-performing organisation: “For the Servier Group, this “high performing organization” can be understood through the prism of our vocation: being committed to therapeutic progress to serve patient needs, and embodied in our four key values: care, dare to innovate, grow by sharing, and commit to succeed.”
Éric Ducournau, CEO, Pierre Fabre
Overall, strong R&D capabilities are a prerequisite to medicalizing our product portfolio.
Éric Ducournau is the global CEO of Pierre Fabre Group, appointed in 2018, having served as CEO of the Dermo-Cosmetics Division at Pierre Fabre for six years. Pierre Fabre Group is the second largest dermo-cosmetic company worldwide and the third-largest French pharmaceutical laboratory. Ducournau provided PharmaBoardroom with a glimpse into the group’s on-going internationalization and its emerging markets strategy, while reaffirming Pierre Fabre’s commitment to France’s healthcare innovation ecosystem. As illustrated by the group’s new motto ‘Taking Care, Living Better’, Ducournau also highlights the ever-growing convergence of the group’s dermo-cosmetic and pharmaceutical verticals, documenting how Pierre Fabre’s leadership in both areas puts it in a great place to better meet the needs of the patients, physicians, and pharmacists. Ducournau spoke about the importance of R&D to the company’s strategy for staying ahead of the competition: “Moreover, researchers from Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique’s R&D centre are participating in scientific research covering cutting-edge topics such as skin microflora. Overall, strong R&D capabilities are a prerequisite to medicalizing our product portfolio. This is the reason why we invest relatively more in R&D than our competitors: roughly five percent of revenues from our dermo-cosmetics business line are invested in R&D.”
Gábor Orbán, CEO, Gedeon Richter
Our advancement in biotechnology has been a key development for Gedeon Richter this year as we move forward in our transition to become a truly specialty pharmaceutical manufacturer.
Gábor Orbán was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Hungarian pharma company Gedeon Richter in November 2017, previously serving as Chief Operating Officer, and Director of Corporate Strategy. His background is in finance and economics, having worked at the National Bank of Hungary and the Hungarian Ministry for National Economy. PharmaBoardroom had the opportunity to speak with Orbán, in which he offered insights into the company’s recent key developments and elaborated on Gedeon Richter’s ongoing transformation as a speciality pharma player leveraging both strategic partnerships and internal R&D capabilities, particularly within the increasingly important field of biotechnology. He highlighted the company’s recent biotech success: “Our advancement in biotechnology has been a key development for Gedeon Richter this year as we move forward in our transition to become a truly specialty pharmaceutical manufacturer. Biotechnology products are difficult to develop and launch, so we are quite proud of our success with TERROSA – the company’s first self-developed biosimilar. Once the originator went off patent, we were ready to deliver the product across Europe that same day. Even though four months have passed, TERROSA continues to be the only teriparatide biosimilar for the treatment of osteoporosis in Europe.”