When talent doesn’t leave: Reig Jofre
The pharmaceutical laboratory Reig Jofre, one of the 10 most influential families in the health sector, continues to bet on Catalonia.
Catalonia has a long history of pharmaceutical research and health. Companies such as Grífols, Almirall, Esteve, and Uriach join the list of companies in the most important family sagas in the country.
In the case of Reig Jofre, Ramon Reig Jofre created the company as a family pharmacy in 1929. Ninety years and three generations later, the company is listed on Ibex 35 and sales have reached 62 million euros in the first quarter of 2021.
From neighbourhood pharmacy to reference multinational company
This success story begins in a pharmacy in the Gràcia district of Barcelona, founded by Ramon Reig Jofre. Four decades later, his son-in-law, Joan M. Biosca, takes the reins and begins its expansion. A few years later, in 2006, it will be his son Ignasi Biosca who will take on the third generation that is still in force.
Since then, its evolution has been constant and with a clear international orientation. At first, they created the production plant in Sant Joan Despí (1998), followed by that of Toledo (2000), and the business activity control centre in the United Kingdom (2014). Thanks to the acquisition of the Swedish company Bioglan AB, they also have a plant in Sweden (2009). In 2015, it merged with the reference pharmacy supplement company, Natraceutical, and strengthened its position in the Spanish pharmaceutical market, also improving its listing on the Spanish stock market. Between 2016 and 2017, its products start being sold in the Asian market.
The internationalization of laboratories
In 2019, they bought the division of Bioibérica, a company that already had a portfolio of products for osteoarthritis and similar diseases, for 46 million euros. A purchase accepted by investors and with a double strategic purpose: increase benefits and gain market positioning, and get an injection of money to enlarge the Sant Joan Despí plant. Two goals that did not take long to be achieved.
Today the company has little more than 1,000 workers, a net profit of 5.7 million, according to 2020 figures, and presence in more than 70 countries, in 8 of which they have direct sales. Production in Spain equals 45% of total production, which is why CEO Ignasi Biosca stressed, during the pandemic, the importance of preserving pharmaceutical and health companies within the country. The rest of the production is concentrated in Europe (42%) and the rest of the world (13%).
The pandemic, an unexpected ally
Covid-19 arrived when the factory was being completed. Janssen needed factories to produce the hundreds of millions of doses of his vaccine Ad26.COV2-S and Roig Jofre was chosen, above all, for two reasons. On the one hand, for the leading technology of the company, which ensures that no worker has contact with the raw material at any point in the process. And, on the other hand, the fact that the plant has not yet been used ensures an availability of 80% in the production of vaccines.
The deal with Janssen increased its stock price by 25%, and everything points to the Catalan company being key in the cure of Covid-19. However, for now, the process of manufacturing the new vaccines has been delayed due to incidents in the production of the United States and the Netherlands.
The Sant Joan Despí factory will operate 24 hours a day to produce up to 250 million doses of the vaccine annually.
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