A development and production platform at the heart of Euregio

Created in 1999 by François Fornieri, Mithra Pharmaceuticals, in just a few years, has worked its way to the top of the “women’s health” field in Belgium and Luxembourg, with a market share of 45.1% in the field of contraception. Mithra is also present in 30 countries throughout the world. In order to push innovation even further, Mithra Pharmaceuticals makes it a point of honour to constantly develop new partnerships and synergy with other companies in the pharmaceutical sector, with renowned research centres and universities, in Belgium and worldwide. Everyone can thus benefit from over fifteen years of experience acquired by the Mithra group, and over 100 cumulative years of experience acquired by its management team in research, development, marketing and distribution.

Cultivating innovation

The creation of this technological platform, known as the “Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation (CDMO)” will give Mithra Pharmaceuticals the opportunity to expand and enhance its expertise internally and through international, national and regional partnerships.

Dans cette optique, cette plateforme repose sur deux piliers :

  • R&D, incorporating innovative projects
  • Production

Anchoring and enhancing research and expertise is essential at Mithra Pharmaceuticals in order to preserve the value chain and sustain the group’s growth. R&D is the spearhead of the new site at Flémalle. Mithra Pharmaceuticals will conduct its own research projects there, at the same time as exploring new areas.

Beyond developing its own therapeutic and diagnostic solutions, Mithra also wishes to enhance the value of its expertise within the context of external partnerships, particularly in the field of medical polymers, an ever-changing niche market (these polymers are matrices which enable the long-term diffusion of the drug substance in a medicinal product). Mithra Pharmaceuticals boasts rare expertise in this field.

Industrial partners, academics, SMEs and start-ups will be able to benefit from the experience Mithra has built up over the years in a framework facilitating the exchange of ideas and knowledge-sharing, to speed up the market launch of innovative products. Our valuable skills in the regulatory field will also help to open up the European market more quickly to international partners.

Thanks to its integrated technology platform (R&D and production), Mithra will be able to offer therapeutic solutions using medical polymer technology (implants and other polymers), sterile injectable products and IM/SC implants. At a later stage, this platform will also offer a compression and blister packing unit for manufacturing tablets. Therefore production will initially focus on enhancing the value of our assets and will gradually integrate new capabilities as Mithra’s international distribution business grows. The platform will comply with strict of European “GMP” (EMA) and US (FDA) requirements in order to meet the specific needs of each partner (volumes, development of production instruments, etc.)

“We are incorporating two key elements in this technological platform”, explains François Fornieri, creator and CEO of Mithra Pharmaceuticals. “On the one hand, we are envisaging integrating development and production activities. The aim is to facilitate the regulatory process associated with the preparation of registration dossiers together with the production of clinical batches, and also enable the production of small to medium-sized batches. This will be a real asset for medicinal products destined for specific niches or in the early marketing stage. On the other hand, we are dealing with women’s health from a broader perspective insofar as we will be working in diagnostic and therapeutic fields.”

Mithra, a regional partner in synergy with the neighbouring regions of Limbourg and Aachen for international development

The Mithra Pharmaceuticals technology platform in Flémalle provides the expertise, infrastructure and resources needed to create the ideal framework to build successful relationships with industrial partners, SMEs and knowledge centres to increase the capacity for innovation and enterprise and promote inter-regional pharmaceutical development for all actors.

The Vice-President of the Walloon governments and Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Minister of the Economy, lndustry, Innovation and Research, Jean-Claude MARCOURT, is keen to welcome the new location project for Mithra Pharmaceuticals. He adds: “this ambitious development project for a Walloon SME, which is established as a world leader in its field, reminds us that Wallonia is still a land of innovation and entrepreneurship. At the heart of a unique ecosystem, the only one of its kind in the world, in the field of health, pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology, the Mithra Pharmaceuticals project perfectly matches the industrial strategy established in the framework of the Marshall Plan and, more specifically, as part of the policy for competitiveness clusters which I initiated.”

François Fornieri is looking beyond “his” Liège region. “Together, we are stronger than the consequences of the crisis. We need to have an open outlook on the world. The past confirms our potential”, he explains. “It was not so long ago that Wallonia was a great industrial power. And in the time of the principality of Liège, Liège and Hasselt joined forces to develop a solid economy in the region. Why not start again.”

An investment of €116 million

This brand new development platform is built on a 3-hectare site (option on an additional 4 hectares) in Flémalle. A total investment of €116 million. €70 million will be invested between 2014 and 2016, funded by the founder, Intégrale, ING Lease Belgium and public investment companies Meuse-Invest and SRIW. The platform should be operational at the end of 2016.