Hamburg is not necessarily known as a pharmaceutical location. The port of Hamburg and the industries that depend on it outshine other industries. Nevertheless, several well-known pharmaceutical manufacturers have their headquarters in Hamburg. The University of Hamburg and other scientific institutions provide for qualified young people. The 3 largest pharmaceutical companies on the Alster and Elbe are presented here. This article is based on the unique List of the 150 largest pharmaceutical companies in Germany.
- Excel list of the 150 largest pharmaceutical companies in Germany
- Includes: revenues (2015-2018), number of employees, contact details, executives
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- Last update: 14.05.2020
1. Evotec SE – Research and Development of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients
The Hamburg company Evotec is a good example of a science-oriented business model. It was founded in 1993 as Evotec BioSystems by Nobel Prize winner, bio- and physicochemist Manfred Eigen and other renowned scientists. Today, the business is entirely focused on the research and development of new active pharmaceutical ingredients. Other activities from the early days have since been discontinued by sale.
Evotec does basic work for the development of new drugs, but does not produce drugs itself. Instead, Evotec has research cooperations and development partnerships with well-known pharmaceutical companies, which Evotec “works with”. These include Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Novartis and Hoffmann-La Roche. Research focuses on Alzheimer’s disease, Chorea Huntington, diabetes, cancer, inflammatory and infectious diseases.
In addition to its headquarters in Hamburg, Evotec has locations in the USA, France, Great Britain, Italy and Switzerland – mainly due to acquisitions over time. The company employs (as of 2018) more than 2,600 employees worldwide, a large proportion of whom are scientists. As of the first half of 2019, Evotec had total assets of approximately EUR 1,068 million and sales of approximately EUR 207 million (2018: EUR 375.4 million for the full year). The year 2019 was characterized by dynamic sales growth. Evotec is listed on the stock exchange and is represented in both the TecDax and the MDax.
2. Chiesi GmbH – Italian brand with Hamburg distribution
Hamburg-based Chiesi GmbH is a subsidiary of the Italian company Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A.. Initially founded in 1935 as a laboratory in Parma, Northern Italy, an international pharmaceutical group has developed over time from modest beginnings. The German subsidiary was founded in 2002 as Asche Chiesi GmbH and has been operating under its current name since 2009.
Chiesi produces numerous well-known medicines and was a pioneer in asthma medication. Three Chiesi products are listed as essential by the World Health Organization. Drug production covers four areas: respiratory, neonatology, rare diseases and transplantation medicine. Research and development is mainly carried out in Parma (Italy), Paris (France), Cary (USA), Lidingo (Sweden), Oxford and Chippenham (UK). The Hamburg subsidiary, like most other foreign Chiesi subsidiaries, acts as a sales company. It takes care of the marketing of Chiesi products in Germany.
In the first half of 2019, the Chiesi Group generated sales of almost 957 million euros, thus achieving an 11.6 percent increase in sales compared to the previous year. The group has around 5,600 employees worldwide. Chiesi Deutschland is one of the largest Chiesi sales companies. It had 350 employees in 2018 and generated sales of 216 million euros.
3. desitin Arzneimittel GmbH – from skin ointment to antiepileptic drugs
Desitin was already founded in 1919 in Berlin-Tempelhof as a chemical factory. The Desitin ointment invented at that time is still in use today as a wound and healing ointment. In 1945, the company headquarters was relocated to Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel. While the focus was originally on drugs for skin diseases, in the 1960s it shifted first to the cardiological field and then to drugs for neurological and psychiatric diseases. Today, Desitin is the German market leader in antiepileptic drugs.
The business focus of Desitin is in Germany and the DACH region, but also in Scandinavia and some Eastern European countries. The company employs around 300 employees. In the business year 2018/19 (reporting date 30.09.2019), sales of 109 million euros were generated. Of this, 59 percent was generated in Germany, 12 percent each in Northern, Western and Eastern Europe and the remaining 5 percent in the rest of the world.
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