Dragon Pharmaceutical Inc. (TSX: DDD; OTC BB: DRUG) is pleased to announce that the Company has strengthened its European presence by appointing an additional key executive in the newly established European office to focus on capturing European business opportunities through the execution of the Company’s European strategy.
The Company has appointed Dr. Rene A. Fricker as the Director of Dragon’s European Office in Basel, Switzerland. With his extensive European experience in the Chemical industry, Dr. Fricker will work closely with Dr. Alexander Wick, our President, to provide leadership in the European business development for Dragon especially for the Company’s Biotech division’s EPO and other chemical and intermediate products, such as Clavulanic Acid and 7-ACA, from the Chemical Division. Dr. Fricker holds a doctorate degree in business administration from the University of Basel and joins Dragon with over 30 years of experience in business and market development practised in different European chemical companies. Prior to joining Dragon, Dr Fricker was with Rohner AG, a subsidiary of the Dynamit Nobel AG Group of Germany from 1992 and most recently served as the Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board. Dr. Fricker took a leading role in restructuring RohnerAG from a traditional dyestuff supplier to a fine chemical producer for exclusive custom synthesis for chemical intermediates and active bulk ingredients for the Pharmaceutical industry. During this restructuring process Dr. Fricker completed the acquisition of Sylachim S.A., a fine chemical company from Sanofi-Synthelabo (now Sanofi-Aventis). Dr. Fricker was also a member of the Board of Lurgi Engineering AG in Bubendorf, Switzerland in 2001.
“We choose to expand our team and presence in Europe at this critical moment because the European market is of high strategic importance to us as it presents a huge market potential for our products. We see two specific industry trends that are extremely favorable to our company. Firstly, we see a global industry trend of relocating the production base of chemical and intermediates from a traditional pharmaceutical base such as Europe to cost-competitive countries such as China and India. The competitiveness of the production in China is evidenced with the fact that producers in China already dominate the production and supply of certain chemicals and intermediates, such as penicillin and beta-lactam antibiotics in the world market. Our newly established Chemical division is already in operations and starts supplying products to fulfill the demand from the Chinese and Indian markets. We believe that our cost competitive advantage will allow us capture additional business opportunities from Europe as a result of this favourable industry trend” said Mr. Yanlin Han, Chief Executive Officer of Dragon. “Secondly, the approximately US$4 billion current market size in Europe for the innovators’EPO products combined with the expiry of key patents for most of the European markets for EPO in 2004, have made Europe the largest potential biogeneric market available for our new EPO products to compete in. Our new EPO products, which are based on a new cell line and production technology, will be produced in Europe specifically for the European market and novel indication segment. While we already have extensive experience in commercializing the generic version of EPO in 9 countries, we are confident that the EPO potential in Europe will be one of the key growth drivers for the Company upon the approval of the products by the European regulatory authority.”
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