50 Most Admired Companies to Watch 2022
Allergic diseases are one of the most common chronic health conditions globally. People with a family history of allergies have an increased risk of developing allergic disease. Allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe, life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).
Over the last decades, allergic disorders, such as rhinitis and asthma, have increased worldwide, mostly in westernized countries where up to 20-% of the population is affected. The “hygiene hypothesis” suggests that modernized lifestyles like improved housing conditions, altered dietary habits, and smaller family sizes may be responsible for the decrease in infectious and increased allergic diseases.
According to the leading experts in immunology, an allergic reaction begins in the immune system. Our immune system protects us from invading organisms that can cause illness and reacts to otherwise harmless substances mistaking it for an invader. The invading substance is called an allergen. The immune system overreacts to the allergen by producing Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These antibodies travel to cells that release histamine and other chemicals, causing a myriad of allergic reactions.
Allergen immunotherapy is the only treatment in current use with the potential for modifying the course of allergic disease. Inmunotek is a pharmaceutical laboratory based in Madrid, Spain, that since 1992, researches, develops, manufactures, and markets safe and effective therapeutic vaccines in allergy, infectious diseases, and cancer. Its products are sold in Spain and many other countries through subsidiaries, delegations, and exclusive distributors.
Following excerpts are taken from the conversation with José Luis Subiza, President & CEO of Inmunotek
Q. What is the challenging aspect of starting a pharmaceutical company?
The challenges of starting a pharmaceutical company are many and varied. In addition to financial support and regulatory assistance, there is a need to be clear about the objectives and the necessary steps in the early stages. The business plan needs to be validated by different experts. Beign an expert immunologist allows me to have a clear vision of the possibilities for new products in Inmunotek’s target area.
Tell us about your expertise in manufacturing and marketing products.
At Inmunotek, we develop, manufacture and market our own products. As these are vaccines, they are products of a biological nature. The manufacturing process includes the entire value chain, from processing the raw materials through the intermediate products to the finished product. Much of the raw material comes from our own facilities or companies in our group.
Our entire manufacturing process complies with the stringent quality standards (GMP) required to manufacture medicines. Inmunotek products are marketed in more than 30 countries, on five continents, directly through subsidiaries or local distributors.
Q. How consistent are you in creating innovative and competitive products of the highest quality?
Inmunotek is a fast-growing pharmaceutical firm listed in the FT1000 (Financial Times) because of our innovative and competitive products.
Over time, we have received many awards that recognize our commitment to innovation and motivate us to continue our pursuit of excellence. Among them is the National Innovation Award granted by the Ministry of Science and Innovation, the highest recognition of the Spanish Government.
Q. What makes the company stand out from the competition?
In the field of allergy and immunology, Inmunotek offers a broad portfolio of products for diagnosis and treatment. Allergy vaccines can be customized to suit patients’ needs, allowing a broad spectrum of therapeutic possibilities to be covered. The customization includes a variety of routes of administration covering different dosage forms in which the company is a pioneer. In the field of infections, Inmunotek has developed new mucosal vaccines to prevent recurrent upper respiratory tract and urinary tract infections, particularly recurrent bladder infections.
Q. What makes this place a great place to work?
The innovative character of Inmunotek, its continuous expansion, and, most importantly, its ability to improve the quality of life of thousands of patients worldwide are inspiring qualities of the company.
Inmunotek has grown a lot in recent years but still retains the best advantages of a small company—a company where all ideas are heard. We have a great multidisciplinary team with high growth opportunities within the company.
In recognition of Inmunotek’s economic growth, innovation capacity, employment generation, and internationalization, the firm was awarded the SME (small-medium enterprise) of the year (2019) by the most important business organization in Spain.
Q. What is the company’s strength, and how did you utilize it for the best?
Since 1992, we have been looking for solutions to unmet needs in our activity area with a multidisciplinary approach. Our motto is to innovate and share ideas. We make an open and collaborative innovation firmly based on scientific evidence. Our driving force is to obtain better treatments that improve patients’ quality of life.
The visionary and inspirational man behind the success of Inmunotek
José Luis Subiza, MD, Ph.D., is an expert in Immunology with a long experience in research in different fields, particularly in therapeutic vaccines for allergies, recurrent infections, and cancer.
He studied medicine at the Complutense University of Madrid and did his doctorate in tumor immunology.
Dr. Subiza has been Professor of Immunology at the Faculty of Medicine of the Complutense University of Madrid and Head of the Department of Immunology at the University Hospital San Carlos in Madrid.
He founded Inmunotek in 1992 and is currently the firm’s president and CEO.