Five minutes with Denis Angioletti, Chief Commercial Officer, Cerbios-Pharma – DCAT Week ’18
PH: Where in the market is Cerbios-Pharma mainly based?
Angioletti: Cerbios is based at a single site near Lugano in Switzerland, with two divisions that complement each other. We have been making APIs for almost 40 years in our Chemical business, originally based on reduced folic acid derivatives. Our Biological business makes pharmaceutical probiotics and biotechnology products. These still are the bases of our activity. Later we moved into highly potent products and this is where we are putting most of the emphasis of our future development in contract manufacturing. We make up to SafeBridge Category 4 products in small volumes. Toxins for antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) are another area of major expansion for us.
PH: Have there been any significant investments in the past year?
Angioletti: The largest investment was to start the highly potent unit, which is modular. Now we are planning to double that unit in the next couple of years, in space we have already set aside for it. Most of other investment is going into know-how and technology for ADCs and we are currently in the design phase for a dedicated ADC conjugation suite, including the toxins and payloads. Our USP in ADCs is that it puts together the two souls of Cerbios of biotechnology and HPAPIs.
PH: Are you at DCAT Week mainly to promote that capability?
Angioletti: It is a key area and DCAT is moving well for us. We had some meetings that significantly moved things forward. That’s the advantage here – if you need to, you can dedicate one or two hours in a private room for a meeting.
PH: Another of your investments is a 25% stake in the Swedish company Lipidor. What does that bring to you?
Angioletti: It is another part of our activity here. Lipidor is a finished products company. Their Akvano technology is a way of formulating a number of APIs for topical application in a ‘no touch’ spray form. The mix of lipids can be varied so that they protect the skin through external activity or facilitate penetration under it. For example, Lipidor is now doing Phase III studies with our calcipotriol for psoriasis with a partner company, but Akvano can also serve as a vehicle for lidocaine as a local anaesthetic or fusidic acid as an anti-infective, among over 100 drugs. Now we are working with them to support their business development. We are getting a lot of interest because this adds value to the topical formulation, maintaining its effectiveness over a much longer span of time than standard products.
PH: When did you join Cerbios?
Angioletti: I am relatively new to the company, I arrived last June. My predecessor Andrea Tam moved across to become the CEO of a new company that the holding created called Phargentis. They develop final formulations, mostly focusing on inhalation technology. They work closely with the rest of Cerbios where it makes sense, for example in highly potent inhalation products. We are all together under the same roof, after all.