In 1929, Ramon Reig Jofre, a pharmacist from Barcelona, Spain, began manufacturing his own medications and a pharmaceutical company was born. Reig Jofre is now the 5th largest pharmaceutical company in Spain. This is thanks to a merger with Forte Pharma in 2014, which also led to Reig Jofre’s public listing.
However, the company is still, and has always been, family run. Ramon’s daughter, Isabel Reig, also a pharmacist, married Joan M Biosca in the 1950s. Joan began working at his father-in-law’s company, eventually going on to the head the business in the early 1970s. Current CEO Ignasi Biosca, son of Joan and grandson of Ramon, has headed the company since 2006. His mother Isabel is now the Non-Executive Chairman, and previously worked in the R&D department. And Ignasi’s cousin Alex Garcia also works at the company as part of the finance team.
“We expect family members working in the company to have had some sort of experience in the industry beforehand and to have had some previous experience in other companies,” says Ignasi.
Post-merger, as a listed company, Reig Jofre combines the long-term vision of a family-run business with a mindfulness of the short-term needs of investors, which Ignasi believes is “very good for the company”.
Ignasi says that when he took on the role of CEO, he was inspired by his father’s entrepreneurial spirit. He realised that, “The most important thing was to create value – to come up with, develop and launch new products, work with the team and create value internally for the company and externally for our clients, customers and shareholders.”
To create that value, Reig Jofre has 3 key strategies:
- Expand into international markets.
- Develop products in-house & in collaboration with third-party companies.
- Focus on creating a clear and specialised product range.
The company has two main arms. RJF Pharma is concerned with the development, manufacture and marketing of proprietary products. It accounts for 80% of the company’s sales. RJF CDMO is focused on the contract development and manufacturing for third parties, and accounts for the remaining 20%.
The company is growing internationally. 41% of sales come from Spain. 49% come from the rest of Europe. And 10% from the rest of the world, which is the fastest growing segment.
A healthy future
Reig Jofre began specialising in dermatological and respiratory products in 1964. The company’s development and production centre in Malmö, Sweden, has a focus on dermatological products – topical treatments for the skin and nails, as well as cosmetics. In 1978, the company expanded into injectables, and at the Barcelona centre, the company continues to research and develop platforms and technologies for injectable products. In 2000, the company acquired GSK’s factory of penicillin antibiotics in Toledo, which still develops and manufactures antibiotics. And when it comes to research and development, the company’s two main areas of focus are dermatological products and women’s health.
And Ignasi says the company has “a big area of development of new products in the space of food supplements”. The acquisition of Forte Pharma gave Reig Jofre access to its range of supplements, which has propelled the company into preventative health, instead of just curative. “These products are not targeted at curing disease but at preventing certain diseases and are more targeted to better health in general.
“Everybody is concerned about their health. We all want to have healthy nutrition, we all want to do sports, to keep ourselves and our bodies as healthy as possible,” says Ignasi. “We think that there are many products that we will grow in the market. People want to prevent illness and invest money in their own health.”