Adamed Pharma, as part of its New Drug Discovery strategy, is expanding laboratory facilities to launch new drug development projects.

14 June 2022

As part of its activities under the New Drug Discovery strategy, Adamed has acquired facilities with laboratory infrastructure based in Kajetany near Warsaw. Over the next two years, the site will allow the implementation of new drug development projects.

The purchase and upgrading of laboratory facilities in Kajetany is part of Adamed Pharma’s plans to expand its R&D capabilities in the field of biotechnology. Following the necessary modifications to meet the needs of Adamed’s R&D activities, the new site will contribute to expanding the range of technological competencies required for future work in the area of innovative medicinal products. At present, the state-of-the-art Research and Development Center in Pieńków is the hub of the company’s research activities in Poland.

Investment and innovation are among the main pillars of Adamed’s growth. Our approach to innovation is based on the ongoing pursuit of growth opportunities in the Polish and international markets. The key activities that bring us closer to accomplishing this goal encompass a wide spectrum including products, technologies, systems, processes, and the supply chain. The purchase and upgrading of the laboratory facilities in Kajetany will enable the implementation of new solutions and contribute to a further expansion of the company’s business. In addition, it will provide an important move towards increasing Adamed Pharma’s competitiveness on the global markets. At the same time, our growth in this area is another step taken by Adamed to create stable and robust conditions for the development of research and development in Poland – says Sylwia Berdzik-Kalarus, Member of Adamed Pharma Management Board, Director of Commercial Affairs and Business Development.

The acquisition of the infrastructure in Kajetany is aligned with Adamed’s strategy which, as one of its key objectives, seeks to develop Polish proprietary medicines and ensure a stable and robust portfolio of innovative products. The development of proprietary medicines at Adamed is focused on three therapeutic areas: oncology, neuropsychiatry, and diabetology. We have the capacity to vigorously execute highly complex projects, such as the development of new molecules, thanks to our multidisciplinary team of experts working in modern laboratories with advanced technological capabilities. The newly acquired facilities will ultimately have all the necessary equipment for sequence design as well as gene cloning, expression and purification, and analytics – for recombinant proteins and monoclonal antibodies as well as candidate drugs based on nucleic acids, including mRNA. In order to grow, modern pharmaceutical companies need to expand the scope of technological capabilities and increase the pool of competencies – says Bartłomiej Żerek, Head of the Innovations Department at Adamed Pharma, who oversees the operations of the facility.

The new laboratory is slated to launch R&D activities in the field of applications of mRNA technology, including vaccine development. In this aspect, cooperation between science and business is crucial. Adamed Pharma’s R&D consortium set up with the University of Gdańsk and the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw has received a grant for the development of innovative therapeutic solutions based on RNA technology in a competition organized by the Medical Research Agency.

Importantly, Adamed’s new facilities will support the production of small batches of biological drug candidates for clinical trials in accordance with the GMP ( Good Manufacturing Practice) standard. The facility based in Kajetany will accommodate biotech pilot production activities.

The development of drugs based on nucleic acids (RNA and DNA) is currently one of the most promising trends in modern biotechnology. This is a groundbreaking area, so I am pleased that Polish research teams are able to support and expand this technology. It is important to note that the Medical Research Agency’s competition devoted to RNA technology has a clear implementation focus. The initiative is meant to ensure that Poland has a state-of-the-art platform that can be used for developing new drugs not only against COVID-19, but also anti-cancer medicines used, for example, in personalized therapy. In addition to stimulating scientific research, the new platform will make a crucial contribution towards expanding capabilities required to secure uninterrupted patient access to medications. As a result, we will be able to respond to future threats of this nature faster and more flexibly, also when it comes to meeting the needs of Polish citizens. Within 2–3 years, we want to develop our own tools to be able to fight against any upcoming pandemic outbreaks. To this end, we need know-how and technology transfers from global corporations, including mRNA technology, which also carries the potential to develop innovative drugs – says Radosław Sierpiński; MD, PhD; President of the Medical Research Agency and Representative of the Prime Minister for the Development of Biotechnology .

The site in Kajetany will accommodate Adamed’s Innovations Department. The researchers will have access to well-equipped state-of-the-art laboratory facilities. To match the expansion of its research capabilities, the company also intends to double the size of the R&D team. In line with its investment plan, Adamed Pharma is looking to expand its expert pool to include specialists in biotech production, nucleic acids, and quality management. Based on the new resources, a state-of-the-art mRNA laboratory will be set up alongside the existing biotechnology, proteomics, cell biology, and in vivo research laboratories.

Adamed’s innovation pipeline comprises not only the development of proprietary drugs but also efforts to improve existing molecules by creating more convenient, patient-friendly dosage forms, prolonging the duration of therapeutic effect, and improving compliance. These also include combination products, composed of substances contained in a single capsule or tablet. All of this is done to respond to the needs of patients, physicians and the entire medical community as effectively as possible. The current development pipeline includes several dozen molecules offering a significant added value.

We have been implementing investments and pursuing innovative in-house R&D projects for over 20 years. We have already allocated PLN 1.9 billion for this purpose. Our new venture in Kajetany fits in with Adamed’s long-term development program under which we plan to allot a total of PLN 1 billion on our projects by the end of 2025. According to Adamed Pharma’s strategy, every year we will allocate an average of 7 percent of generated revenues to drug development projects. Some of them will be implemented in Kajetany – says Paweł Roszczyk, Managing Director, Member of the Management Board at Adamed Pharma.

The estimated cost of upgrading the newly acquired infrastructure to Adamed’s research purposes is close to PLN 20 million. A major part of the cost is to be covered from the budget for Adamed Pharma’s innovation and growth strategy. In addition, the Medical Research Agency will contribute up to PLN 9 million under the grant titled “Development of innovative therapeutic solutions using RNA technology”.

The site in Kajetany will be fully adapted to the activities of research teams in late 2023. The production area, which requires expansion and the purchase of complex systems, will be put into operation in the second quarter of 2024.

Expert’s comment

- Most countries around the world use gross domestic product (GDP) as their core metric for prosperity.  But it is not only GDP growth that determines improvements in social welfare. Another important element is life expectancy and, above all, healthy life expectancy. The latest data on life expectancy from Statistics Poland (GUS) show that over the last eight years in Poland total remaining life expectancy of a 30-year-old has fallen by 18 months. A similar trend is observed for 60-year-olds. While it is true that healthy life expectancy has increased, it is still low, just over 59 years for men and 63 years for women. The causes are multi-factorial. More recently, of course, it has been COVID-19, but the impact of such factors as pollution and lifestyle choices is growing – says Małgorzata Starczewska-Krzysztoszek, PhD, from the Faculty of Economic Sciences at the University of Warsaw.

- The fight against COVID-19 has shown us where and how these challenges should be addressed. One of the ways is to step up research and development efforts, also in the pharmaceutical industry. The room for improvement is huge. In Poland in 2020, total expenditure on R&D was PLN 32.5 billion, which is equivalent to 1.39 percent of the GDP. In the EU, the figure was higher at 2.32 percent of the GDP. Still, this is not much. The purpose of R&D is to increase our stock of knowledge and, on that basis, resolve problems faced by people today. All areas of our lives are affected, but it is hard to enjoy new technologies and their applications that make life easier if you know that the life span is decreasing, while healthy life expectancy accounts for only around 80 percent of total life expectancy. This is why it is becoming increasingly important for the pharmaceutical industry to invest in R&D. In this context, Adamed Pharma’s latest investment in R&D infrastructure and a pipeline of projects worth PLN 1 billion to be delivered by 2025, must be seen as a significant development – adds the expert from the Association of Polish Economists.