Chiesi Poland purchased 100% shares in Smart Pharma company from the investors: funds – YouNick Mint, SpeedUp Innovation (part of SpeedUp Group) and ZYLIOON Invest (ZYLIOON Group) together with the stake of the company of its founder Michał Taisner. After the acquisition Chiesi plans to further develop and evolve company’s portfolio mostly to address the medical needs of infants and older children. In the following months Smart Pharma will be fully integrated into Chiesi structures. Transaction is worth several dozen million Polish zlotych.
Smart Pharma is a company established in 2014 by Michał Taisner. Having worked in pharmaceutical companies for several years, the founder noticed significant niches on the market and demand for products. If they were developed within extensive corporate structures, their time to market would be very long. From the very beginning, my ambition was to develop and then effectively commercialize products that will solve doctor’s everyday problems. For example, American Academy of Paediatrics in 2010 issued recommendations that iron should be administered in doses precisely calculated per kg of body weight per day - since iron deficiency is as dangerous as its excess. At that time, there was no such product on Polish or worldwide market, so we created the “Innofer” products – says Michał Taisner, CEO of Smart Pharma. On the other hand, in 2014 European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition took a stand on need for a supply of hematopoietic B-group vitamins in iron supplementation. Again, as no product on the market could meet these recommendations, Smart Pharma developed the “InnovitumB” product. This would not have been possible without the close cooperation and support of a several great people from outside the company without whom we would not have been where we are today – he adds.
Three VC funds provided funding for company development at the beginning: YouNick Mint, SpeedUp Innovation and ZYLIOON Invest.
Clearly defined value proposition for both clinicians and patients, products addressing unmet medical needs and strong business experience of Michał Taisner decided to invest in the Company – says Aleksander Kłósek, Investment Manager at YouNick Mint. Success of Smart Pharma is, above all credited to the commitment and determination of its Founder, who was consistently supported in business development by YouNick Mint, the fund that also attracted other investors – he adds.
We have very quickly decided to invest– says Remigiusz Błochowiak, co-founder and managing director of ZYLIOON Group. The greatest impact on the decision was prospective industry of Smart Pharma, but as just important were commitment, passion and belief in the success of the Founder. I am sure that that just as the investment in Smart Pharma was a great decision for us, it will be equally beneficial for Chiesi Poland – he adds.
From the very beginning, the company has consequently increased sales revenues and market shares, effectively competing with major international corporations. According to IQVIA data, its sales in 2019 reached almost 10 million polish zlotys. Rapid development of Smart Pharma and an interesting product portfolio, especially in the field of neonatology brought the attention of Chiesi Poland – a company belonging to the international Chiesi Farmaceutici Group based in Parma, Italy. Chiesi Poland is developing rapidly in Poland and its strategy is based on organic growth as well as on M&A. The fact that the acquirer, as a company with billions of dollars' in revenues, had decided to acquire Smart Pharma, a company which was established with a VC support, is a signal to the venture fund industry that such transactions can take place. Thus, innovative solutions and products are more often created in smaller, dynamic companies and then taken over and adapted in larger companies. I am proud that as SpeedUp Group we could support Michał from the very beginning of the company’s business activity – says Kuba Dudek, Managing Partner at SpeedUp Group. It was a good moment for both purchaser and the shareholders of the company to start off negotiations on company takeover, which in total lasted for several months – he adds.
In further steps, Chiesi Poland plans to develop current Smart Pharma product portfolio and integrate both companies in optimal time. Michał Taisner will be the CEO of the company until the end of 2020 and afterwards he will participate in integration process of both entities. Current activities mostly focus on further development of the company as well as achieving synergies concerning the product portfolio and operational efficiency of both companies. Smart Pharma is a company significantly smaller than Chiesi Poland, but its position gives the purchasing party the opportunity to enter the segment of non-reimbursed products and will result in business diversification – said Krzysztof Łokaj, General Manager of Chiesi Poland.
About the transaction parties:
Smart Pharma was established in December 2014 in order to develop and commercialize unique product for babies and young children. The first product on the market was Innofer. It contains elemental iron, which is very easily absorbed and at the same gentle for the stomach. This form of iron and appropriately sized particles minimize the number of side effects that very often occur during the intake of this element. Unique effectiveness of the elementary iron comparing to iron salt contributes to effective prevention the occurrence of anaemia and iron deficiency. Thanks to its effective promotion, “Innofer baby” is one of the most frequently recommended and used iron product for babies in Poland.
“InnovitumB” product, which contains the so-called hematopoietic vitamins - B6, B9 (folic acid) and B12, which are an important elements in prevention of iron deficiency anaemia is also definitely innovative. Company's product portfolio also includes the probiotic line “Diflos” with the best tested known and recommended by specialists probiotic strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, “Stick Off” medical device for painless removal of dressing and “Aurimax” medical device for preventing and supporting ear inflammation treatment.
Chiesi Poland is a part of international Chiesi Farmaceutici Group with over 85 years of experience headquartered in Parma (Italy) running its business activity in 29 countries. Chiesi Group conducts research, develops and commercializes innovative pharmaceutical medications used in the treatment of respiratory diseases, specialist medicine and rare diseases area. Chiesi Research and Development Centre is located in Parma and cooperates with four other key R&D centres of the Group in France, United States of America, United Kingdom and Sweden, conducting original preclinical, clinical and registration research programs. The Group has approximately 6000 employees. Chiesi is a company with B Corp certificate. chiesi.com
SpeedUp Innovation is a fund belonging to SpeedUp Group –a group of VC funds investing in early stage companies (seed – Series A). Group focuses on investments in European companies (especially CEE) in such fields as consumer internet, fintech, martech, adtech, electromobility, industry 4.0, medtech, IoT and scope of the investment ticket for a single company is between EUR 50,000 and 4 million. Total capitalization of funds owned by the SpeedUp Group exceeds PLN 200 million. speedupgroup.com
YouNick Mint is an experienced investment team managed by a long-standing business practitioners from the areas of Healthcare (pharmaceuticals, medical devices, innovative medical materials and medical devices) and Industry 4.0 (in particular ICT, IoT, RPA, PropTech). It invests in innovative projects at an early stage of development and supports them with the competence of its experts. Investment ticket is between 500 thousand to 12 million PLN. Partners of YouNick team include private investors, business angels as well as National Centre for Research and Development and PFR Ventures. younickmint.com
ZYLIOON Group, which includes ZYLIOON Invest, is a group of entities established by professionals with many years of experience in corporate and investment banking in both Polish and foreign banks. One of the operation areas of ZYLIOON Group is a direct capital investment in early-stage companies from the fields of healthcare and environment. However, the Group’s business activity is not limited to being a passive investor, as the founders' intention is to bring additional value of the Team’s competence within the scope of finance, contacts and business relations. zylioon.pl