FDI 100: Servier

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

Founded in Paris in 1954, Les Laboratoires Servier has developed from a small, family-owned pharmacy to a global pharmaceutical giant, employing more than 20,000 people.

Servier is a highly successful global pharmaceutical company with a turnover of €3.9bn in 2011 and a workforce of more than 20,000 people worldwide. Headquartered in Suresnes, in the western suburbs of Paris, Servier is engaged in the R&D, manufacture and marketing of leading ethical pharmaceutical products.

Servier is the leading French independent pharmaceutical company, and the second largest French pharmaceutical company worldwide. The firm has branches in 140 countries, achieving 82% of its sales outside France.

Located in Arklow, Servier (Ireland) Industries Ltd has been in operation since 1989 and is a key strategic site for the Servier Group. More than 390 staff are employed at its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility which produces finished pharmaceutical products for both the Irish market and for export. Drugs manufactured at the Arklow facility are used in the treatment of diabetes, cardiovascular disorders and depression.

A large-scale investment programme was completed at the site in 2009, which has increased capacity substantially.

The revamped 4,500 sq metre facility marks the final stage in a €124mn investment process that commenced in 1989 and saw the size of Servier’s Arklow site double between 2006 and 2009. The plant acts as a strategic centre for the company in its R&D pipeline activities and in ensuring that Ireland remains at the forefront of pharmaceutical innovation.

Founded in 1954 in Orleans, France, Les Laboratoires Servier has developed in stature from a family-owned, provincial pharmacy employing nine people to a multinational operation with over 20,000 employees worldwide, including nearly 3,000 in R&D. The company was founded by Jacques Servier, who is now 90-years old, and has a  fortune that was estimated at €3.8bn in 2009.

Despite its significant growth in recent years, the company is still privately-owned and is passionately and permanently committed to remaining independent. Currently established in 140 countries, it has achieved consistently high growth, especially throughout the last decade.

The reason for this success is three-fold: Firstly, it has one of the world’s highest ratios of investment in research and development; secondly, it has an enviable reputation for product innovation and thirdly, its personnel are motivated, committed and professional. Servier regularly invests more than 25% of its annual turnover in R&D.
From a product portfolio focused on cardiovascular problems, diabetes and osteoporosis, Servier plans not only to have innovative new products in these therapeutic fields, but by 2014 to promote new and existing products for Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, prevention of cardiovascular events, depression and mild cognitive impairment.

As well as internal research and development activities, Servier undertakes publicly-funded collaborative research projects with industrial and academic partners.

One example, in the area of non-clinical safety assessment, is the InnoMed PredTox. The company is expanding its activities in joint research projects within the framework of the Innovative Medicines Initiative of EFPIA and the European Commission

The Arklow plant received a further boost earlier this year when European Medicines Agency gave approval for Servier’s heart failure drug Procoralan which is manufactured in Arklow. The drug, marketed by Servier under the brand Procoralan and also known as Ivabradine, has been shown to reduce the risk of a fatal heart attack for heart disease sufferers by over a quarter.

The drug was originally licensed for treating patients with angina, a chest pain caused by poor blood supply, but it’s now been given the green light by the European Medicines Agency to help chronic heart failure. A trial two years ago showed the drug which slows the heart rate, allowing it to pump more efficiently, not only improves life expectancy but also the quality of life.