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Ipsen: a dynamic, fast-growing specialty care powerhouse

Ipsen is a growing biopharma company that combines a dynamic, biotech mindset with the resources that come from having 5,400 employees and a direct presence in more than 30 countries. This structure allows Ipsen to maintain the strong growth momentum it has built up in recent years by providing differentiated and innovative specialty care medicines to address unmet medical needs.

Fast-growing cancer drugs have established Ipsen as one of the top 20 oncology organizations in the world (, and in the last 2 years, new partnerships have brought additional oncology assets into Ipsen’s portfolio. In parallel, Ipsen has built up a portfolio of experimental and approved neuroscience and rare disease drugs. Ipsen, which derives 45% of its sales from outside Europe1, has constructed a truly global footprint to support the growth of existing products and the development of new medicines, particularly in the US and in China.

Working out of internationally reputed scientific hubs in France, the US and the UK, Ipsen’s researchers are tackling unmet medical needs in oncology, neuroscience and rare diseases. These teams are run by entrepreneurial leaders who are equally open to in-house and external ideas. What matters is the outcome, namely bringing innovation to patients. Ipsen’s approach is intended to facilitate the rapid translation of scientific progress into clinically meaningful medicines.

Critical to Ipsen’s growth strategy and source of new products is the biopharma’s external innovation approach. Ipsen has built dedicated teams within its innovation hubs (Cambridge (US), Oxford (UK), Paris (France) and Beijing (China)), strategically located within scientific ecosystems and equipped with strong ‘search and evaluate’ capabilities.

Ipsen is investing to fuel these efforts, and in 2017 increased its research and development (R&D) spend by more than 15%2, hiring 300 professionals to bolster its expertise and to execute the development of drugs in oncology, neuroscience, rare diseases and in-licensed assets. These actions are intended to keep Ipsen on its rapid upward trajectory, building a valuable and sustainable pipeline. Having increased revenues by 21% in 2017, Ipsen aims to grow its sales to more than €2.5 billion by 2020 and launch at least one new product or indication each year3.

Growth drivers

Aside from oncology, neuroscience is a core part of Ipsen’s specialty care business and central to the biopharma’s growth plans. The success of the company’s neuroscience franchise is underpinned by 25 years of research into type A botulinum toxin, work that has laid the groundwork for the next wave of neuroscience candidates. The novel toxins in Ipsen’s pipeline are the product of a highly innovative recombinant neurotoxin capability, which is enabling Ipsen to extend the boundaries of neurotoxin therapeutics. With its next-generation recombinant toxins, which will potentially reach the market over the next decade, Ipsen is pushing the technical boundaries to broaden the use of neurotoxins and address unmet needs.

Alexandre Lebeaut, Ipsen’s EVP of R&D and CSO, commented, “Ipsen Neuroscience’s world-leading research capabilities are pushing technological boundaries to develop the next generation of recombinant toxins that will target an even broader spectrum of neurological conditions and bring value for patients. We have a full pathway of capabilities in neurotoxins that extend ‘from bench to bedside’.” Ipsen is the first company to test recombinant toxins in preclinical and phase 1 clinical studies4; the strong internal expertise of its R&D teams has played a critical role in the establishment of Ipsen’s leadership in the field. Ipsen is collaborating with a number of international centers of excellence in neuroscience research on the development of the next generation of neurotoxins.

Ivana Magovčević-Liebisch, EVP and CBO, is championing external innovation at Ipsen. “Ipsen has an outstanding partnership track record, progressing partnered products through global development and maximizing their value by expanding indications and opening new markets. We work with our partners to define a shared vision to unlock the full potential of their products. We seek to identify, develop and integrate products that are a strategic fit for our portfolio and that will deliver innovation in future patient care.” With its biotech mindset and global footprint, Ipsen offers the best of both worlds to potential partners. Ipsen is both a nimble, creative and like-minded partner that will remain committed to partnered programs and a development and commercial powerhouse that has the global resources needed to get impactful products to patients.


  1. 1.

    Ipsen. Ipsen delivers strong sales growth of 20.2% for the third quarter of 2018 and confirms full year guidance. Ipsen (2018).

  2. 2.

    Ipsen. Ipsen delivers strong 2017 results with 21.1% sales growth and Core operating margin increase of 3.4 points and expects significant further growth in sales and margin in 2018. Ipsen (2018).

  3. 3.

    Ipsen. Ipsen presents its new strategy and improved 2020 financial targets. Ipsen (2018).

  4. 4.

    Abstract ISPRM 2018 - ISPR8-2654 - Results from the first recombinant botulinum toxin (BoNT) ever to enter clinical development. Outcomes of a first-in-human study with recombinant BoNT-E.

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