Best Practice Representative

Best Practice Representative | Published November 29 2017

Accord Healthcare

A key stakeholder in the UK’s strong pharmaceutical sector, Accord Healthcare has held a presence in the country since 2008. James Burt, Executive Vice-President for Europe and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions of the generic pharmaceutical specialist, says the UK will continue to be a key manufacturing destination even in a post-Brexit landscape as it looks to bring new products to the market.

Accord Healthcare is a young and dynamic company involved in the development, manufacture and distribution of pharmaceutical products to more than 70 markets worldwide. Among the fastest-growing generic drug companies in the UK and Europe, the rise of our European business since its inception in 2008 has been quite remarkable.

The Accord product portfolio has grown by 713% with an average growth exceeding 40% annually in the past nine years. In total, our product approvals now exceed 6,000 across a plethora of therapeutic fields such as oncology, cardiology, neurology, psychiatry, diabetes, pain management and gastroenterology. And yet, despite this rapid growth acceleration, the company is just getting started.

Actavis UK & Ireland Acquisition

At the crux of what Accord and our parent company Intas Pharmaceuticals are looking to achieve is growing and delivering more high-quality pharmaceuticals to more patients each year. Despite the results of last year’s EU referendum creating a climate of uncertainty, we have actively looked to grow our UK presence through a series of acquisitions and investments.

At the beginning of 2017, Intas acquired pharmaceutical manufacturer Actavis UK and Ireland from Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries.

Encompassing Actavis UK & Ireland into the Accord brand, this acquisition has allowed us to realistically become a leading industry player at European level. Whilst facilitating our ambition of becoming a top five pan-Europe, Middle East and North Africa (EMENA) generics company by 2021 and to have developed a specialty products commercialisation capability, while Intas is now a top 20 generic player globally.
This new partnership also gives Accord an exciting opportunity to build on its already strong position in the market, providing the company with increased access to UK and Irish retail and hospital markets. Significantly, the acquisition of Actavis UK & Ireland by Intas represents the largest inward investment by an Indian company since the EU referendum. Such investment both in the UK business and commitment to research and development has improved existing products and formulations, enabling Accord to bring new generic medicines to market, in areas such as controlled drugs as well as the more complex, technically difficult highpotency products.

It also confirms our confidence in the future of the UK economy and a commitment to expansion both in the country and in Europe.

UK manufacturing

The UK is among the world’s pharmaceutical industry hotbeds, contributing billions of pounds to the economy annually and employing tens of thousands of people. Accord’s UK manufacturing sites are of strategic importance; currently the NHS in the UK, has one in six generic medicines supplied by Accord. The UK is a key contributor to our European operation, where our manufacturing sites contribute more than half a billion euros per year. Given the UK’s status for pharmaceutical manufacturing and a solid infrastructure, Accord is committed to maintaining production in the country, where we launched our first product nine years ago.

In October 2016, Accord showed this commitment to inward investment and research and development (R&D) by acquiring a manufacturing facility previously owned by Sanofi in Fawdon, Tyne and Wear. This was in addition to an existing Accord site at Haverhill, Cambridgeshire, along with an EU ‘retest and release’ laboratory based in North Harrow, London, collocated with Accord’s European Headquarters. The recent acquisition of Actavis UK and Ireland, a company that had a rich heritage in the UK for circa 180 years, also expands our UK manufacturing presence with the addition of the Barnstaple, North Devon site owned by the company. These manufacturing sites across the UK helps us to evolve and innovate to meet the needs of our customers in a dynamic market place, as well as helping our commitment to continue to deliver medicines to patients in over 35 European counties and over 70 around the world.

Vertical integration

Optimising product supply is an especially crucial part of a successful manufacturing process. Accord benefits from owning and managing all aspects of its pharmaceutical value chain, from product development and R&D, through to manufacturing, regulatory, quality, supply chain, sales and marketing.

This vertical integration enables complete control and autonomy, allowing us to bring high-quality medicines to patients faster, more economically and with greater innovation than some of our competitors. Continuing with this pattern will also form a key part of our further growth.

The future: biosimilars

One of our key future expansion targets is the strengthening of our retail offering – ensuring greater availability of Accord developed drugs in stores. 

At present, more than 60% of European sales are in the hospital sector, so there is room to distribute our interests in other segments. We also cannot forget that, in the pharmaceutical sector, innovation is critical. With this in mind, new products are never too far from the horizon. 

In addition to launching a pipeline of generic products, we’ve focused on the development of innovative new offerings: biosimilars, a replicate of another product already produced by a different company, and new chemical entities developed in-house. 

The biosimilars sector is of particular interest and has attracted the attention of a lot of companies. In July 2016, San Francisco analysts, Grand View Research, forecast that the biosimilars segment will be worth $41.7 billion up to 2024. Figures like these illustrate its growth potential. In 2015, Accord launched their first biosimilar in Europe with Accofil®, used for the treatment of persistent neutropenia. The launch of this product, which is now a market leader in several European markets, also demonstrates Accord’s biotechnology R&D and manufacturing capabilities. 

Over the next four years, we anticipate many more biosimilar additions to the Accord portfolio. Being a company with a tradition in the generics sector, like many of our counterparts, the pursuit of Day 1 patent expiries is vital for growth prospects. Also in the next four years, we feel there will be something approaching 30 Day 1 launches added to the product portfolio.

We are committed to developing a company where our vision is to have a fully integrated, comprehensive offering of affordable medicines and ensuring patient access to effective healthcare across Europe. As a destination for research and development and manufacturing, the UK will play a crucial role in the company achieving this.