Abidin Gulmus – Founder and Chairman, Gen Ilaç, Turkey

Abidin Gulmus, founder and chairman of Gen Ilaç, describes the company’s impressive journey to become Turkey’s principle orphan drug distributor and shares his vision for leveraging the company’s domestic expertise to expand their reach into foreign markets.   Gen Ilaç is one of the fastest growing Turkish success stories although it is still relatively young. What was the market opportunity you identified back in 1998 and the business model you have been following to differentiate yourself? Our initial strategy was to focus on orphan disease drugs – a niche product segment - as other areas of the Turkish pharmaceutical market were already saturated with me-too products. After identifying our target segment, we started in 1998 by partnering with Biogen as a distributor, which has since been our strongest partnership; we even just celebrated our 20-year anniversary this year. We are proud that Gen Ilaç is one of Biogen’s best performing distributors, and their CEO, Michel Vounatsos, came to visit our office in Ankara this past June. We began with Biogen’s singular MS drug, Avonex, but today we have added many more products to our portfolio. Over the years, Gen Ilac has also expanded into other niche disease areas and we signed agreements with several other biotechnology companies. In Turkey, we represent Biogen, Ipsen, Biomarin, Vertex, Orphan Europe, and several others.
Our vision is to become an easily adaptable company, bringing novel treatment options to patients living with difficult to treat conditions while continuing to give the best services to patients as we have over the last 20 years
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