Octapharma Nordic AB
Wolfgang Marguerre founded Octapharma in 1983 with the aim of supplying safe and high-quality treatment alternatives for people with haemophilia. Together with his children he is still passionately committed to the continuous improvement of human protein-based life-saving therapies for both chronic and acute usage. The family-owned company structure allows short decision routes, long-term thinking and the freedom to reinvest profit for further development.
Octapharma is the largest privately-owned plasma products company in the world and one of the leading companies in this industry. Its products are used for the treatment of haemophilia, immunological disorders and acute coagulation disturbances in intensive care patients.
“It’s very special to be able to help people with chronic diseases. I have met many patients who, thanks to our products, don’t have to suffer from chronic pain and disabling disease and who have gained a significantly increased quality of life! That makes all figures and investments meaningful”, said Tobias Marguerre, Head of the Stockholm-based operations and son of the Founder of the company.
In 2002, Octapharma acquired the Plasma Products Division of former Kabi/ Pharmacia/Biovitrum in Stockholm with its long-standing experience and competence within this medical field. Since then, large investments have been made in the Stockholm plant, resulting in a 5-fold increase in production volumes. Further investments in new production lines and new technologies will follow over the coming years.
“We are investing in Stockholm since the required competence is available here, not only through university and postgraduate education, but also through the competence and knowledge of people who have worked in this industry for a long time. This is also true for the ability to produce proteins with recombinant DNA technology which, in principle, means an unfailing raw material source”, explained Tobias Marguerre.
With recombinant DNA technology, proteins that are virtually identical to the endogenous ones can be made into pharmaceutical products. Octapharma is the first company within its field to use a human cell-line instead of an animal one in this type of production. The first product to be produced will be used for the treatment of type A haemophilia and is currently in clinical trials.
“The development of inhibitory antibodies is today’s major safety concern in the treatment of haemophilia. By using a human cell-line we hope to achieve better tolerance and thus less inhibitory antibodies than products produced in animal cells.” said Tobias Marguerre.
Globally, Octapharma has four additional production sites (Vienna, Austria; Strasbourg, France; Springe, Germany and Mexico City, Mexico). The company has more than 4000 employees, of whom 650 are based in Stockholm. The head office is located in Lachen, Switzerland.