Al­liance Pharma is on the as­cent



2018 has been a year of ma­jor progress for Al­liance Pharma (APH: AIM). Re­cent de­vel­op­ments, in­clud­ing a sig­nif­i­cant ac­qui­si­tion and mar­ket­ing au­tho­ri­sa­tion for a new prod­uct, are fur­ther trans­form­ing the com­pany, en­hanc­ing its in­ter­na­tional growth prospects and re­in­forc­ing the com­pany’s po­si­tion as a ris­ing star in the Euro­pean spe­cialty pharma sec­tor.

2018 has marked the ap­point­ment of Peter But­ter­field as Al­liance’s CEO. Peter knows the com­pany well, hav­ing joined in 2010 as an ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor at the time of Al­liance’s ac­qui­si­tion of Cam­bridge Lab­o­ra­to­ries, where he had worked for five years. His early ca­reer was at the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal gi­ant Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK).


In wel­com­ing him to the role of CEO, John Daw­son, the founder and for­mer CEO who led Al­liance for 20 years, said that But­ter­field’s ‘ca­reer path has been im­pres­sive, and his ca­pa­bil­i­ties give the board the ut­most con­fi­dence that, as CEO, Peter will be highly ef­fec­tive in driv­ing the com­pany for­ward’. Daw­son, who brought the com­pany to AIM in 2003, has re­mained with Al­liance as a non-ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor.

Founded in 1998, Al­liance has evolved through a suc­cess­ful buy-and-build strat­egy in which 35 ac­qui­si­tions have been com­pleted over 20 years to cre­ate a prof­itable, cash gen­er­a­tive spe­cialty pharma busi­ness with a pro­gres­sive div­i­dend pol­icy. Re­cent ac­qui­si­tions have given Al­liance a sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­na­tional foot­print. The com­pany has di­rect sales in the UK, Europe and the US and an ex­ten­sive dis­trib­u­tor net­work with the re­sult that its prod­ucts are sold in around 100 coun­tries world­wide.

The com­pany’s prod­uct port­fo­lio com­prises around 100 prod­ucts, rang­ing from pre­scrip­tion medicines to well­known con­sumer health­care brands such as Ash­ton & Parsons In­fants’ Pow­ders and Lyp­syl.

IN­TRO­DUC­ING… AL­LIANCE PHARMA A spe­cialty phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany based in Chip­pen­ham, Wilt­shire.


This year, the mo­men­tum of the com­pany’s buy-and-build strat­egy has con­tin­ued apace, and, in June, Al­liance an­nounced a ma­jor brand ac­qui­si­tion: the £60m pur­chase of ex­clu­sive mar­ket­ing rights to Ni­zo­ral, a med­i­cal anti-dan­druff sham­poo, in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion. The rights, which were ac­quired from John­son & John­son, ex­tend to more than 15 coun­tries in­clud­ing Ja­pan, Thai­land, South Korea and China.

A well-known and clin­i­cally re­spected brand, Ni­zo­ral recorded sales in the APAC re­gion of a siz­able £18.5m in 2017. The brand sig­nif­i­cantly in­creases Al­liance’s pres­ence in the APAC re­gion, which is Al­liance’s fastest-grow­ing re­gion world­wide.

Ni­zo­ral is Al­liance’s fourth In­ter­na­tional Star brand, the term the com­pany uses to de­scribe a hand­ful of key prod­ucts which have strong in­ter­na­tional or multi-coun­try growth po­ten­tial.

Other prod­ucts in the port­fo­lio, which have good sales po­ten­tial in in­di­vid­ual coun­tries or in a small num­ber of coun­tries, are called Lo­cal Heroes. Fi­nally, Bedrock is the term used for prod­ucts that have sta­ble sales and do not re­quire or jus­tify mar­ket­ing ex­pen­di­ture. The cash gen­er­a­tion from th­ese Bedrock prod­ucts is in­vested in the mar­ket­ing of growth prod­ucts and con­trib­utes to div­i­dends for share­hold­ers.

Ni­zo­ral joins Al­liance’s three other In­ter­na­tional Star brands: Kelo-cote for scar re­duc­tion, MacuShield for mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion and Va­mousse for the treat­ment and pre­ven­tion of head lice. Th­ese In­ter­na­tional Star brands are the com­pany’s high growth driv­ers – for ex­am­ple in Al­liance’s half year trad­ing up­date is­sued in July, Kelo-cote sales were re­ported as up 88% in the first half of 2018 at £10.9m.


And there’s an­other po­ten­tial In­ter­na­tional Star brand on the way: Xon­vea, a proven prod­uct for the treat­ment of nau­sea and vom­it­ing of preg­nancy. Back in Jan­uary 2015, Al­liance in-li­censed the UK mar­ket­ing rights to the prod­uct from the Cana­dian com­pany Duch­es­nay Inc; the fol­low­ing year th­ese rights were ex­tended to a fur­ther nine Euro­pean coun­tries in­clud­ing Ger­many, France and Italy.

In July this year, the Medicines and Health­care prod­ucts Reg­u­la­tory Agency, the UK health­care reg­u­la­tor, granted mar­ket­ing au­tho­ri­sa­tion for Xon­vea. Al­liance ex­pects to launch Xon­vea in the UK this au­tumn and then to seek mar­ket­ing au­tho­ri­sa­tions in con­ti­nen­tal Europe.

There is cur­rently no li­censed treat­ment for nau­sea and vom­it­ing of preg­nancy in the UK. Mar­ket re­search re­veals a large un­met med­i­cal need for such a treat­ment. It is es­ti­mated that the con­di­tion af­fects al­most 700,000 women each year in the UK alone, where peak sales of Xon­vea are es­ti­mated at about £10m. Once avail­able across Europe, to­tal peak sales of Xon­vea are es­ti­mated at around £40m.


Xon­vea is the most stud­ied medicine in preg­nancy with a proven ef­fi­cacy and safety pro­file from use in more than 30 mil­lion women over more than 30 years.

Re­search an­a­lysts at Hard­man & Co (whose re­ports can be found at www.hard­ com­mented in a re­cent re­port that: ‘The ac­qui­si­tion of Ni­zo­ral, the re­cent pur­chases of Va­mousse and Ame­top, and the UK ap­proval of Xon­vea, are chang­ing APH’s growth prospects con­sid­er­ably.’

Peter But­ter­field: Al­liance Pharma CEO

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