18 DECEMBER 2002
Pharmamed, the subsidiary of Icelandic pharmaceutical company Pharmaco Ltd, has just inaugurated a new subsidiary, Delta Research and Development.
The list of guests present at the inauguration included Economic Services Minister Prof. Josef Bonnici, Health Minister Dr Louis Deguara and also Icelandic Foreign Minister Halldor Asgrimsson.
The move to set up a Research and Development facility was prompted by Pharmacos plans of increasing the companys development capacity. Pharmaco currently develops five products a year. The R&D facility is now expected to increase to 14 products per year by 2005. Delta R&D will play an important role in future product development within Pharmaco.
Pharmaco will now have research and development capacity in Iceland, Malta and Bulgaria. The company focuses on completing the development of generic equivalents of pharmaceutical products at least three years prior to patent expiry.
The current number of workers at Delta R&D is already close to 30 people. Its setting up was fuelled by an investment of Lm 1.4 million.
Pharmaco is also investing heavily in upgrading the production facilities of Pharmamed Ltd through a high volume generic pharmaceutical manufacturing facility located in Bulebel, Zejtun.
Delta, a subsidiary of Pharmaco, acquired Pharmamed last year.
The Icelandic pharmaceutical industry has profited from the countrys patent status. It has been possible to obtain process patents for pharmaceutical products in Iceland since the 1920s, but only a few have been granted as most multinational pharmaceutical companies did not apply for patents there.
The Icelandic pharmaceutical industry has therefore had considerable freedom to work with substances still covered by patent in the rest of Europe. Maltas current patent status is also opportunistic and the establishment of the new development firm, Delta R&D Ltd. will increase Pharmacos development capacity considerably, meaning that an even wider range of Pharmaco product launches lie on the horizon.