Eenie, Meenie, Minie, Biominas

Feb 01, 2012

"Let me start by saying that biotechnology in Brazil is really a new thing," says Eduardo Emrich Soares, president of Biominas, a private institution that fosters the development of biotech-related businesses in Brazil. "You will not meet many large, consolidated companies here because there is no such market, especially in pharmaceuticals," Soares says, accompanying the wind being let out of the collective sails of an entire sector. However, things aren't quite as dour as that introduction provides, and Biominas, with over 20 years dedicated to its main objective of creating and developing businesses in life sciences in Brazil, sees some bright spots. A new niche dedicated venture fund is in the works, fully funded and soon to begin operations. And perhaps most importantly, Soares says, "Most of the international pharmaceutical companies are putting Brazil on their map not only for selling drugs, but to discover, identify, and develop technology." One such firm is Ferring, whose general manager Roberto Alvarenga elaborates on his company's recent partnership: "Biominas is a kind of liaison between public institutions and the private sector. There is a lot of ongoing clinical activity within Brazil's public institutions. They do not have all the investments necessary to speed up clinical investments, so they look for some other partnership in the private sector. Ferring is very interested to have partnerships with public institutions in the therapeutic areas we work with. Since we don't have a manufacturing site in Brazil, and don't invest a lot in clinical trials, we want this kind of partnership with a public institution. It's a great opportunity on both sides." Alvarenga will be looking for this opportunity to supercharge Ferring's performance, if such a thing remains humanly possible: "For the last two years, Ferring Brazil has had the highest gross among all Ferring affiliates. We were able to grow sales 25% in 2008-2009, 35% in 2009-2010, and I believe we can achieve around 25% again this year. Ferring in Brazil intends to almost triple sales in two years."


Eduardo Emrich Soares, president and ceo, Biominas

Roberto Alvarenga, general manager, Ferring Pharmaceuticals Brazil