Five minutes with Marga Viñes, Business Development Manager – Contract Manufacturing, Grifols – DCAT Week ‘18
PH: Please introduce Grifols to us.
Viñes: Grifols is a Spanish company mostly known in the blood derivatives field, our core business. We have three divisions: Bioscience, mainly focused in blood derivatives; Diagnostics, providing safety in transfusion therapy; and, Hospitals, which supplies drugs, equipment and logistics to hospitals pharmacies. The Hospitals division includes a contract manufacturing business mainly dedicated to small molecules. Grifols has huge experience, knowledge and capacity in injectable products, and about ten years ago we decided to build this new business to offer customers this experience.
PH: Have you made any recent investments or acquisitions relevant to the contract manufacturing part of your business in the past year or so?
Viñes: As a contract manufacturing area we are focused in the US and we could be open to the right acquisition but right now we are more focused on investments. Our most recent was to invest in new lines to grow our manufacturing capacity. In the future, we might consider building injectables capacity in the US, but this is not an immediate priority. The current capacity we have is 72 million units, 52 million at one site in Murcia, southern Spain, which is highly automated and mainly dedicated to flexible bags, and 20 million at the second plant in Barcelona, which makes flexible bags and other products. Both are FDA-approved, with zero Form 483 observations, which we are very proud of.
PH: You had a good year in 2017 – how is 2018 shaping up so far?
Viñes: The growth has continued. This year we are seeing growth for our normal saline products to mitigate the shortage in the US. The FDA has been reporting a lot about this and we have had approval to supply, which we have been doing since the start of January.
PH: But you are here mainly to market your capabilities in contract manufacturing?
Viñes: Yes, that’s correct. We have been having many meetings, with both Big Pharma and small companies. For us, DCAT Week is not just an important event – it is the event. I love this format, I think it is really useful and the return on investment is great. There is a really professional environment so we are very satisfied. We worked hard in advance to define the agenda, but we are very happy with it, as we don’t have to invest so much money to build a booth. Instead, we have a suite and hold our meetings there. We can meet with a lot of people involved in the business of contract manufacturing, as well as having networking opportunities. The first time I came to DCAT I realised it was an important event, so we became members and this is our third time.