The Portuguese group Bial has sold its “allergic immunotherapy” business, known as Bial Aristegui, to the German pharmaceutical company Roxall. This operation also includes Bial’s R&D and production centre in the Bizkaia Technology Park (Biscay).
The Bial group has explained that the sale of the “allergic immunotherapy business” will enable it to “concentrate its activity on the research and development (R&D) of new medicines for the central nervous and cardiovascular systems”, while concentrating “all its research and industrial operations” in Portugal. Significant products recently developed by Bial include an epilepsy medicine (Zebinix®, 2009) and one to treat Parkinson’s disease (Ongentys®, 2016).
BIAL will maintain the” pharma business unit” in Spain, with a workforce of around 170 employees, producing a range of products focused on neurology, internal medicine, cardiology and women’s health. In its announcement, Bial explained that “with a pharma turnover of 60 million euros in 2016, the Spanish market will continue to be a priority in the company’s internationalization programme”.
The unit sold, Bial Aristegui, specializes in the development, production and commercialization of anti-allergic vaccines and diagnostic tests for allergies. The operation includes the commercial areas dedicated to allergology in Spain, Portugal and Italy, which represented 7% of Bial’s global turnover in 2016, as well as the R&D and industrial unit located in Bilbao, involving around 100 employees, who will become incorporated into Roxall.
Bial operations in allergic immunotherapy date back to 1998, when it acquired the Bilbao company Ifidesa Aristegui, which operated in this field. The Bial group boosted these activities in Spain with the construction of a large R&D and pharmaceutical production centre in the Bizkaia Technology Park, which opened in 2012, with an initial investment of 12 million euros, an operation that is part of a more ambitious investment plan, accounting for a total value of 30 million euros.