FDI 100: Elan

FDI 100 | Fri 23 Nov | Author – Business & Finance
elan FDI 100

Having recently gone through a period of major restructuring, Elan’s spin-off of its biosciences unit is set to be completed this month.

Elan is a neuroscience-focused biotechnology company headquartered in Dublin. It was incorporated as a private limited company in December 1969 and became a public limited company in January 1984.

The neuroscience-based biotechnology company has a plant in Athlone and a number of facilities in the US. Listed on the Dublin, London and New York stock exchanges, Elan focuses on developing, manufacturing and marketing advanced therapies in neurology, auto-immune diseases and severe pain.

For more than two decades, Elan has created science and developed disease-modifying treatments that are defining the future of degenerative neurological therapies. The company has generated the core science and fundamental discoveries responsible for breakthrough compounds that profoundly impact disease, ranging from multiple sclerosis to Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Elan’s marketed therapies, including Tysabri for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease, have provided important treatments for patients with unmet medical needs

Elan’s organisational structure has undergone significant change in recent years. The company previously consisted of two distinct business units, Elan Biopharmaceuticals and Elan Drug Technologies. Elan Biopharmaceuticals engaged in biopharmaceutical research and development activities as well as pharmaceutical commercial activities. Elan Drug Technologies focused on product development scale-up and manufacturing to address the drug-delivery challenges of the pharmaceutical industry.

In September 2011, Massachusetts-based biotech firm Alkermes acquired the Elan Drug Technologies business for €500mn in cash and €31.6 million in Alkermes shares, which brought the total consideration up to $960mn. The businesses were combined under a newly-formed company, Alkermes plc, which is incorporated in Ireland and headquartered in Dublin. The combined company is estimated to have revenues of roughly $450mn. Alkermes already had operations in Europe and a facility in Athlone.

Elan also announced recent changes to its research function by beginning to implement the spin-off its biosciences unit into two distinct companies. Elan’s Neotope Biosciences wing will continue to focus on innovation and differentiated scientific advancement but will become an independent company and will seek a listing on a US exchange by the end of 2012.

At the time of the announcement, Elan’s CEO Kelly Martin said that the move was aimed at making the core Elan operation a more focused business that will generate growth, immediate and long-term profits and expanding margins. Martin said that the nature of the pharma business requires significant periods of research and a longer wait on returns on investment. This plan, he says, aims to give investors more options

Elan’s most recent trading statement, produced for the third-quarter of 2012, showed that revenues were up by 10%, while adjusted EBITDA grew by 38%, positive figures but below previous expectations. Martin said following the trading release that Elan’s primary recent focus had been the spin-off of Neotope, a process he said was progressing well.
“The third quarter was an active one for Elan on a number of fronts.
“We announced the proposed spin-off of our discovery research activity into Neotope Biosciences with Dr Dale Schenk as the chief executive officer. Neotope will operate as a separate entity upon completion of the transaction, which is targeted to close by year end 2012.

“We named Hans Peter Hasler as the chief operating officer of Elan. Hans Peter brings significant industry experience and will be involved with all aspects of Elan, both strategically and operationally.”

It has since been announced that the demerger of Neotope will be completed at midnight on the 14th December 2012 as a new independent, publicly-traded company, Prothena Corporation plc.

Elan CEO Kelly Martin is also to remain in his position past his planned departure date to oversee the completion of the company’s Alzheimer’s treatment trials.

It was planned that Martin would step down by the beginning of May 2012, but the Elan board have asked that he remain until the data relating to Alzheimer’s drug Bapineuzumab has been shared publicly, evaluated and assessed.