March 21, 2013 - LAURENCE NIOSI, SPECIAL COLLABORATION
– La Presse
Pharmaceutical company Jamp Pharma makes more acquisitions. In December, it bought Laboratoire Suisse through its subsidiary Wampole a few months after signing an agreement with the Indian firm Strides Arcolab.
The Boucherville company specializes in developing, distributing and marketing generic drugs and over-the-counter products.
Its fourth in six years, President and Chief Executive Officer Louis Pilon says that Jamp Pharma’s acquisition of Laboratoire suisse “completes” its natural product offering. In 2011, the company bought the natural products firm CuraPhyte via Wampole, who itself was acquired five years earlier.
Founded in British Columbia in 1988, the family-owned business has experienced tremendous growth since Louis Pilon purchased it in 2006. At the time, Jamp Pharma, whose sales were approximately $5 million, manufactured products for large private label chains. Interested in some of the products that were being developed, Mr. Pilon nevertheless managed to change the SME business model in order to develop new formulations. With more than 200 products on the market, Jamp Pharma is a Canadian generic drug company “that has launched the most new products in the last two years,” emphasizes the company’s CEO that has sales of $50 million today.
Jamp Pharma’s recent association with the company Strides Arcolab helped to create the joint venture Agila-Jamp that has also ensured the development of 40-odd injectable medications that will be available on the market in the next two years.
In doing so, Louis Pilon wants to become a new source for purchasing in an industry where a few big players have a near monopoly of the market. One year after the significant shortage of medication provoked by problems at the Sandoz plant, the CEO estimates that diversification of sources remains the solution to avoid similar fiascos from occurring in the future.
“The generic drug industry is dealing with conflicting head winds because of the many pricing reductions made by the government. Several companies stopped manufacturing some products since the prices were too low and that becomes dangerous for the population,” he says.
Despite the difficult situation for the pharmaceutical industry, Louis Pilon realized, however, “his chance”. In the last few years, Jamp Pharma has used the closures of research centres in the Montreal region as an opportunity to recruit a skilled workforce.
“As several patents expire and branded products are on the decline, the volume of generic drugs has risen considerably thereby allowing the industry to grow”, he concludes.
Six years after moving his company from British Columbia to Quebec, he now wants to increase his market share in the rest of Canada and double sales in the next three years. Is there a new acquisition on the horizon? “We always have expansion projects on the table”, Louis Pilon answers assuringly.