Ipsen: Investing more
2011: $326 million (€254 million)
2010: $281 million (€221 million)
As a percentage of sales: 22%
Research chief: Claude Bertrand
France's Ipsen has four key R&D focuses: endocrinology, oncology, neurology and hematology.
Two of its big development programs helped drive up R&D expenses by 15% last year: Dysport, a cervical dystonia therapy sold in the U.S., and Somatuline. And there was a reckoning to be made when it discontinued Irosustat (BN83495) and combo development programs.
Just a few days ago Ipsen paid out a 10 million euro milestone to Active Biotech as their Phase III study for the prostate cancer drug tasquinimod hit the halfway point on enrollment.
At the beginning of the year Ipsen handed back all rights to Santhera's fipamezole, a Phase III candidate for Parkinson's disease. And Ipsen has been on the receiving end of that kind of arrangement as well. Back in 2010 Roche handed back rights to the RA drug taspoglutide after unexpected side effects scuttled the program.
That same year Ipsen struck a deal to take a chunk of Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals for $85 million and pay up to $174 million in milestones as they collaborate on the development of a blockbuster portfolio of new hemophilia drugs. And it was rewarded recently when Inspiration filed a BLA for IB1001, an intravenous recombinant factor IX (rFIX) for the treatment and prevention of bleeding in individuals with hemophilia B.
Ipsen has a big stake in peptide and toxin R&D. Back in 2008 it acquired Tercica in California, and late last year the company opted to relocate its California R&D work to its base in Milford, MA, where it launched a $45 million facility upgrade.
For Ipsen, the U.S. represents an emerging market. That feeling is represented in its research budget.