Not many companies in the pharmaceutical sector can say that they have kept growing and targeting growth through the pandemic, while maintaining the same commitment to their values, patients and employees.
But Galen — a privately-owned global pharmaceutical sales and marketing company and part of Northern Irish pharma success story Almac Group — can certainly make that claim. The company is pursuing an ambitious plan to expand across new territories and therapeutic areas via acquisition, with particular sights set on further expansion into the USA and Europe.
It was Galen’s growth ambitions — coupled with its legacy, patient-centric core products and real potential to build — that attracted Dennise Broderick (pictured) to take on the role of Managing Director and President about three years ago.
Dr Broderick, a scientist who left the academic space to pursue a career in pharmaceutical sales, has a wealth of executive experience spanning large and small companies, products, and territories across the globe. Through her experience, she gained a passion for applying her leadership to organizations that seek growth and development.
“When the Galen opportunity came up, I saw real potential in this company,” she told The Pharma Letter.
“Before I agreed to take the job, I did a lot of research, talking to people who knew the company, and one of the things that kept coming up again and again was the legacy. Galen was founded by Sir Allen McClay — an entrepreneur who cared deeply about his employees and creating opportunity in his home of Northern Ireland, with a vision to establish a company that would make a significant impact on human health. This company is now known as Almac Group, which is a phenomenal success story.”
Are you interested in exploring how Galen’s expertise could add value to your product? Or do you want to discuss acquisition or partnership opportunities? If so, please email or see further details here.Almac Group is an established contract development and manufacturing organization that provides an extensive range of integrated services across the drug development lifecycle to the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors globally. The company’s innovative services range from R&D, biomarker discovery, development and commercialization, API manufacture, formulation development, clinical trial supply, IRT (IVRS/IWRS) through to commercial-scale manufacture.
“Galen, for me, is the beauty of a small pharmaceutical business, with all of the advantages of a large pharma company. As the commercial arm of Almac, we get all the benefits of being part of the Almac Group, but we’re still a small to medium-sized company that is privately owned.”
A major milestone for Galen’s growth ambitions came with the multi-million pound takeover of the Sweden-based boutique healthcare company, POA Pharma, which was completed in early 2020.
The move enabled Galen to significantly expand its global reach and product portfolio in exciting new therapy areas, such as rare metabolic disease. It also extended the company’s global footprint into the Nordic territory and Northern Europe.
While the POA acquisition has worked very well for Galen, the company is now looking to expand further and in other markets — as mentioned, particularly in the USA.
“One of our key focuses is our North American business,” Dr Broderick said. “We have an infrastructure in America that has been there for just coming up on 10 years. We are very proud of what we have there and we are currently looking to find partners and opportunities, where we can, to take on products or franchises or indeed small companies, to build and grow with.
“For us, the opportunity can be something that’s small to medium-sized, that can either be established or in early-stage research and development.”
While much of the search is focused on the USA — a market that Dr Broderick said that no pharmaceutical company with aims to be a truly global player could ignore – opportunities in Europe remain of interest, while Galen has ambitions in other parts of the world, too.
Whatever or wherever the opportunity, Galen will approach it with the collaborative approach that underpins all the company’s relationships — internally and externally.
“We see it as a partnership, whether it’s us distributing on somebody’s behalf, or whether it’s us acquiring a company, or a franchise or a portfolio,” Dr Broderick added. “It’s very important to me that we see it as a partnership — ‘what is the benefit to both parties?’ If we start there, then there is respect, integrity and honesty. After that then comes, ‘what aligns with the strategy of Galen and what can we offer the patient?’
“As a leader, if I keep the patient at the center of what I do, what my teams do, what Galen does, well then it stands to reason that the more we can expand, grow, offer, provide additional products, then it’s going to benefit the patient and the better it is for everybody concerned. So that’s always been our motivator.”
“We want to make sure that the partner feels that they are heard, they are valued”Besides Galen’s collaborative and patient-centric approach, there are other advantages to partnering with the company.
“The great thing about Galen is we are agile, we can move very quickly – the decision-making process is very, very quick on my side, the board is very nimble,” Dr Broderick said.
“We bring passion, enthusiasm and a real understanding of working with the partner. We’re not just interested in slotting in a new partner, we want to make sure that the partner feels that they are heard, they are valued, they are listened to, that they’re taken care of and that there’s a mutual agreement of benefit on both sides. That’s very much what we can offer.”
Following the pandemic, perhaps Galen can add resilience to that list, too, something that prompted Dr Broderick to say that the workforce was what made her more proud of the company than anything else.
“Coming out of the pandemic, we have gone through unprecedented times in the pharmaceutical industry, a time when there was anxiety on a level no-one had experienced before. Through it all, the culture that we have created in Galen, which is all about us as a team being of service to each other, and also reaching out the hand to our customers, our patients, our partners, and letting them know that they are not alone — was tested to the ultimate during the pandemic.
“Culture is never truly tested until you have some type of adversity thrown at it. And it held true — the culture held true, and for me, I’m really proud of that, I’m really proud that we’ve come out the other side of the pandemic stronger as a team than we actually went into it. Despite the pandemic, we continued to grow, and again, there’s not many people that can say that.”