Ferring Holding SA
FormerlyNordiska Hormon Laboratoriet
TypePrivate limited company
not traded
IndustryPharmaceuticals
Founded1950 (1950)
Headquarters,
Switzerland
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
  • Lars Rebien Sørensen (Executive Chairman)
  • Frederik Paulsen Jr (Chairman Emeritus)
  • Per Falk (President of the Executive Committee)
ProductsSee below
RevenueEUR 2,162 million (2021)
Number of employees
5,400 (2021)
Subsidiarieswww.ferringusa.com, et al.
Websitewww.ferring.com

Ferring Pharmaceuticals is a Swiss multinational biopharmaceutical company specialising in areas such as reproductive health, maternal health, gastroenterology and urology.[1] Ferring has been developing treatments for mothers and babies for over 50 years.[2]

Headquartered in Saint-Prex, Switzerland, Ferring has its own manufacturing facilities in several European countries, in South America, China, India, and the United States.

Founded in 1950, privately-owned Ferring employs more than 5,400 people worldwide (6,500 in 2017),[3] has its own operating subsidiaries in nearly 60 countries and markets its products in 110 countries.

History

The company was founded by Dr. Frederik Paulsen Sr and Dr Eva Paulsen in Malmö, Sweden, in 1950, initially as the Nordiska Hormon Laboratoriet, renamed Ferring in 1954. A ferring in Frisian is a person from the island Föhr off the western coast of Germany. Mr. Paulsen's family originates from that island.

The first major breakthrough was the synthetic production of oxytocin and vasopressin in 1961. With further growth and expansion, the headquarters moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, and subsequently to Switzerland.

In October 2011, Ferring acquired Cytokine PharmaSciences Inc.[4] (CPSI) and its UK subsidiary Controlled Therapeutics (Scotland) Ltd., a global biopharmaceutical company with a particular focus in obstetrics.

In August 2016, the company announced it would acquire the phase III sciatica candidate drug - Condoliase (SI-6603) from Seikagaku for approximately $95 million.[5]

In April 2018, Ferring announced its acquisition of Rebiotix Inc. an innovative biotechnology company and pioneer in the field of the human microbiome.[6][7]

In November 2019, Ferring Pharmaceuticals and Blackstone Life Sciences announced the joint investment of over $570 million USD in an investigational novel gene therapy in late stage development for patients with high-grade, Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) unresponsive, non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). Ferring and Blackstone spun out a new gene therapy company called Fergene to bring the therapy to patients.[8]

Location

Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Global Headquarters in St-Prex, Switzerland.
Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Global Headquarters in St-Prex, Switzerland.

Ferring Pharmaceuticals' global headquarters are located in Saint-Prex, Switzerland.[9] The company has over 5,400 employees[10] with manufacturing facilities in Europe, South America, China and has built two new facilities in the US and in India.

In Copenhagen, Ferring has a R&D centre in the Ferring Tower in Ørestad. The company has commissioned Foster and Partners to design a new building in the Scanport development. It will have area of 30,000 square metres and have room for 750 employees.[11]

In Portugal, Ferring has built a center of excellence (2020) for the IT services and some shared functions.

Dutch subsidiary Ferring B.V.[12] expanded to the US in 1980.[13] Ferring established a research group at the Ferring Research Institute in San Diego, CA (USA) in 1996. Ferring assembled a peptide research group that collaborates with academic scientists. The Ferring Research Institute moved to its new home in San Diego in February 2009 with the opening of a 38,000-square-foot facility in Sorrento Valley. The new facility houses expanded research laboratories for peptide medicinal chemistry, biochemistry, bioanalytical, and pharmacology.

Corporate governance

Ferring's Executive Chairman is Lars Rebien Sørensen who was appointed in April 2022[14] having served as Chairman of the Board of Directors since July 2021.[15] He previously served as President and CEO of Novo Nordisk A/s between 2000 and 2016. Mr Sørensen is a post-doctoral lecturer in the faculty of Science at the University of Copenhagen, and in the Center for Corporate Governance at Copenhagen Business School. [16][17]

Chairman Emeritus[18] is Frederik Paulsen Jr, son of founder Frederik Paulsen Sr. Mr Paulsen studied Chemistry in Germany at the Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel followed by Business Administration at the University of Lund, in Sweden. He joined Ferring in 1976, became Managing Director of Ferring AB, Sweden in 1983 and Chief Executive Officer of the Ferring Group in 1988.[19]

The President is Dr Per Falk who joined Ferring in 2015 and was appointed President on 1 January 2019.[20] Before joining Ferring Per had held executive and senior leadership positions at Novo Nordisk and AstraZeneca in research, medical and clinical development roles. Per has over 30 years’ experience investigating and evolving microbiome science, holding faculty positions at some of the world’s leading institutions to advance research in this field. During his career, he has held the role of Associate Professor at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden and the Washington University School of Medicine, United States. Per is a qualified medical doctor and also has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Clinical Chemistry.[21]

The role of Chief Medical Officer has been held by Mirjam Mol-Arts since July 2020[22] - who joined the company in January 2018. She is responsible for overseeing global pharmacovigilance and global medical affairs. Mirjam’s former career includes various leadership roles at Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Schering-Plough, Organon, and MSD.[23] Mirjam qualified as a medical doctor having graduated with honors from Utrecht University, Netherlands.[23]

Ferring has made several other executive appointments: Armin Metzger is the Chief Science Officer from March 2022 overseeing research and development. He joined Ferring Pharmaceuticals in 2016 as Senior Vice President, Head of Global Pharmaceutical R&D. Alessandro Gilio is the Chief Manufacturing and Supply Officer with responsibility for Ferring’s global manufacturing and supply network. Christelle Beneteau is the Chief Human Resources Officer. Mirjam Mol-Arts is due to retire in 2022.[24][25]

Controversies

Ferring director's close ties to Russia

Since 2009 until 2022, Frederik Paulsen was the honorary consul of Russia in Lausanne, Switzerland and is reported to have a privileged relationship with the country and its president, Vladimir Putin.[26][27][28]

According to an article published by Swiss newspaper, Le Temps, Frederik Paulsen accompanied on several occasions Swiss politicians to Russia such as Pascal Couchepin, Isabelle Chassot, François Longchamp, Géraldine Savary and Pascal Broulis.[29]

The nature of these visits has been the object of criticism and interrogations by Swiss judicial authorities, who have launched investigations on Pascal Broulis and Géraldine Savary. The magistrate wished to clear if these trips were perceived as a bribe in return for fiscal arrangements for Frederik Paulsen and his company, Ferring Pharmaceuticals.[30]

The year before, on 21 February 2008, Russian president Vladimir Putin awarded Frederik Paulsen with the Order of Friendship. Three other expedition members of Arktika 2007 were also awarded titles at the occasion. During the expedition, a Russian flag was planted on the ocean floor of the North Pole, which sparked up controversy.[31][32]

Legal procedures against Ferring

In the past, Ferring has been accused of disclosing misleading information about several of its products (Desmopressin, Glypressin, Penstasa) at the benefit of consumers.[33][34]

In July 2020, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, based in the United Kingdom, drew attention to the fact that Ferring Pharmaceuticals is recalling all Desmopressin nasal sprays.[35]

In 2016, a class action was filled against Ferring Pharmaceuticals regarding the Bravelle product. One year earlier, the company recalled Bravelle products after tests revealed that the drug was not as effective as declared, therefore exposing women to serious health risks.[36][37]

Ferring Pharmaceuticals is currently engaged in a legal battle opposing it to Professor Claudio de Simone. In the early 1990s, Professor Claudio de Simone invented a probiotic formulation fighting against intestinal disorders. The "De Simone formula" was the subject of several clinical tests, attesting of its efficiency to treat certain diseases.[38]

The pharmaceutical company distributed the formula under the name VSL#3. A few years after the end of the agreement between the two parties, Ferring Pharmaceuticals continued to distribute a product referred to as "VSL#3" in several countries, containing a modified formula.[39][38]

Products

Products are used in reproductive health, gastroenterology, urology, orthopaedics and endocrinology.[40]

Reproductive health / Fertility

Gastroenterology

Urology

Orthopaedics

Endocrinology

See also

References

  1. ^ "Personalised medicine and partnering – key areas for Ferring". European Pharmaceutical Review.
  2. ^ "Ferring Pharmaceuticals".
  3. ^ "Ferring Pharmaceuticals Biotechnology Centre, Saint-Prex, Switzerland".
  4. ^ "Les compétences en matière fiscale respectées | VD.CH". Site officiel du Canton de Vaud. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  5. ^ "Ferring Acquires Sciatica Candidate from Seikagaku for Up to $95M". GEN - Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News. 2016-08-29. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  6. ^ "Ferring buys up PhIII microbiome drug with acquisition of Rebiotix". Endpoints News. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  7. ^ "Rebiotix, Inc". BioCT. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  8. ^ "Ferring, Blackstone spin out gene therapy with $570M in funding". FierceBiotech. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  9. ^ a b c d businessweek.com: "Pharmaceuticals Company Overview of Ferring Holding SA", retrieved 26 May 2014
  10. ^ "Ferring Pharmaceuticals' Biotechnology Centre, Saint-Prex, Switzerland - Pharmaceutical Technology". www.pharmaceutical-technology.com. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  11. ^ "Ferring bygger forskningscenter på Amager" (in Danish). Berlingske. 5 December 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  12. ^ a b businessweek.com: "Pharmaceuticals - Company Overview of Ferring B.V.", retrieved 26 May 2014
  13. ^ businessweek.com: "Pharmaceuticals - Company Overview of Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Inc.", retrieved 26 May 2014
  14. ^ "Former Novo CEO Lars Rebien appointed executive chair at Ferring". Medwatch. Retrieved 2022-04-08.
  15. ^ "Ferring's Frederik Paulsen hands over the reins to Lars Rebien Sørensen". The Pharma Letter. Retrieved 2022-04-08.
  16. ^ "Lars Rebien Sørensen". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 2022-04-08.
  17. ^ "Lars Rebien Sørensen". Copenhagen Business School (in Danish). Retrieved 2022-04-08.
  18. ^ "Board of Directors". Ferring Pharmaceuticals. Retrieved 2022-04-04.
  19. ^ "Ferring appoints Lars Rebien Sørensen as new chairman". Medwatch.
  20. ^ "Ferring's chief science officer to take over as executive board president in January".
  21. ^ "Swedish Swiss Chamber of Commerce - Terms and Conditions".
  22. ^ "Mirjam Mol-Arts, Exec VP/Chief Science OfCR/Chief Medical OfCR, Ferring Pharmaceuticals A/S". www.bloomberg.com. Bloomberg. Retrieved 2021-05-24.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. ^ a b "Our Leadership > Executive Committee". Ferring Pharmaceuticals Global Site. Retrieved 2022-04-11.
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  27. ^ "Kazan Federal University visited by Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation in Lausanne Frederik Paulsen". kpfu.ru. Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  28. ^ "Une société offshore se cache derrière le consulat de Russie". 24 heures (in French). ISSN 1424-4039. Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  29. ^ "Frederik Paulsen, un (riche) ami qui vous veut du bien". Le Temps (in French). 2018-09-21. ISSN 1423-3967. Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  30. ^ "La justice vaudoise va enquêter sur les voyages de Pascal Broulis". Le Temps (in French). 2018-09-13. ISSN 1423-3967. Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  31. ^ "Putin awards underwater polar explorers". Reuters. 2008-02-21. Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  32. ^ "Die seltsamen Aktivitäten des Konsuls". Tages-Anzeiger (in German). ISSN 1422-9994. Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  33. ^ Gould, Mark (2002-01-05). "Drugs company makes false claims over bedwetting drug". BMJ : British Medical Journal. 324 (7328): 9. doi:10.1136/bmj.324.7328.9a. ISSN 0959-8138. PMC 1121981. PMID 11777792.
  34. ^ McKee, Selina (2010-05-27). "Ferring falls foul of ABPI Code of Practice". PharmaTimes. Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  35. ^ "Class 2 Medicines Recall: Ferring Pharmaceuticals Limited, desmopressin nasal spray (all strengths), PL 03194/0024, PL 03194/0090, PL 03194/0056, EL (20)A/29". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  36. ^ "Bravelle Lawsuits". www.classaction.org. Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  37. ^ St Eve, Amy J. "Keith v. Ferring Pharmace | Case No. 15 C 10381. | 20160928e23". Leagle. Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  38. ^ a b "Face aux pharmas, un médecin en résistance". Le Temps (in French). 2020-06-20. ISSN 1423-3967. Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  39. ^ "Civil Action No. 8:19-cv-2173" (PDF). United States District Court for the District of Maryland.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  40. ^ "Ferring Austria".