The Business Year

Close this search box.
Alberto Martí­nez

SPAIN - Health & Education


President & CEO, Mundipharma


Alberto Martinez is President and CEO at Mundipharma in Europe, with a +15 year´s trajectory in the pharmaceutical industry. Having started his career as a Sales Representative with Janssen in Spain, he joined Mundipharma in 2003, where he has held numerous leaderships positions both at country and regional level. Alberto´s expertise is to lead business transformations, which he has done in every role he has held, ultimately driving an in depth corporate turnaround of the Mundipharma network through strategic prioritisation and diversification. His leadership across the various organisations has consistently resulted into positive financial results combined with Great Place to Work awards, showing that organisations can thrive through transformations while securing sustainable growth. His passion is in building and working with high performing teams in a learning environment, putting people and a common purpose at the centre of everything he does. He holds a PhD from Granada University and an Executive MBA from IE Business School, Spain.

“Mundipharma has managed to grow through the loss of exclusivity of its pain business by delivering commercial excellence.“

Can you give us an overview of Mundipharma?

Mundipharma is a mid-sized fully-integrated pharmaceutical company whose purpose is to move medicine forward. Its expertise covers the full life cycle of the product, from development and manufacturing, to regulatory and market access, through to supply and commercialization of innovative assets across European markets. It is privately owned, and the network has a presence in well over 120 countries worldwide, employing thousands of people, 2,000 of them in Europe. Mundipharma started as an antiseptics and laxatives business in the 1950s, and in the 1960s acquired Napp, a UK company with know-how in controlled release mechanisms. This technology was applied to different therapeutic areas, from cardiovascular and respiratory to analgesia, which has been the company’s main focus for the past three decades. In the last four years, three of the top four medicines in the portfolio were losing patent exclusivity across Europe. Mundipharma needed a new focus and it underwent a major business transformation during this period. At the end of 2014, when I moved to the UK, we initiated a timely transformation of our organization that has since expanded across Europe and has proven successful not only in terms of business results, with records in sales and profitability in 2018, but also in terms of effectiveness and mindset of our leadership and employees.

Did this involve diversifying your products?

Yes, Mundipharma has managed to grow through the loss of exclusivity of its pain business by delivering commercial excellence with a diversified portfolio that has been accessed through strategic partnerships with other Companies in areas like biosimilars, respiratory diseases and diabetes. We no longer promote opioid analgesics in Europe and our present and future is about demonstrating the value we can bring to our commercial and healthcare partners in other areas. Today, Mundipharma in Europe is a leader in the commercialization of biosimilars and is a reference commercial partner in specialist driven primary care. In 2015, we launched infliximab, the first monoclonal antibody biosimilar. Just 4 years later, our biosimilars’ sales had grown to be in excess of ‚¬350 million in 2018 and we are proud to have contributed to saving more than ‚¬800 million to healthcare systems over that period. Moreover, it is particularly fulfilling and fitting with our purpose that these biosimilars are allowing many more thousands of patients to have access to innovative biologic treatments that were not accessible to them for costs reasons. Through our commercial partnership with Celltrion, Mundipharma is today the European biosimilar market leader with infliximab, rituximab and trastuzumab, and our recent acquisition of Cinfa Biotech has enabled our successful expansion into development and commercialization across the whole of Europe. Similarly, our strategic partnerships with Janssen and Vectura in diabetes and respiratory recognize our ability to tailor our market access and commercial propositions to every market in order to deliver a competitive performance in the complex primary care environment.

Can you tell us more about your business model?

Our business model is based upon three key pillars: innovation and commercial excellence through partnerships. It is about innovation, as the company is focused on medicines that can bring real value to patients and healthcare providers, assets that we can be proud of developing and commercializing. It is about commercial excellence. We are neither a generic company nor a big pharma, but as a specialty company we have the local understanding of our customers’ needs and the footprint and capabilities that enable us to move quickly, to adapt and establish our commercial platforms in new markets. It is this agility that provides our competitive advantage, allowing us to execute competitively and cost effectively, as we have recently proven in biosimilars or diabetes. And both innovation and commercial excellence can only happen through fostering strong partnerships. Partnerships with other pharmaceutical and biotech companies that see in Mundipharma their partner in development or commercialization of innovative assets. Partnerships with our customers, healthcare professionals and healthcare providers that entrust Mundipharma’s professionalism and commitment to move medicine forward together. And partnerships internally within the organization and with our shareholders so that we truly operate as one, with clear direction and focus. Our ambition is to continue to grow with a portfolio of innovative assets through in-licensing and co-development, since a growing environment is always one that brings opportunity for people to develop. We invest a great deal in human capital development to create a high performing and learning environment for everyone in the organization, and this continues to be recognized by our employees with leading Great Place to Work awards across Europe. Mundipharma is a great place to grow for high performing individuals who want to take ownership, demonstrate accountability and make a real impact to the business and to move medicine forward.

What is the breakdown of your client portfolio, and do you partner with distributors or focus on direct sales?

In Europe, we primarily focus on direct sales through our capabilities across 20 markets where we bring our “local brilliance,” a tailored commercial approach to every healthcare environment. The customer target in pharma has changed dramatically over the past years from being primarily doctors to expanding to a much larger customer group that includes national and regional healthcare authorities and private insurers. Fully integrated market access capabilities centrally and locally have become a critical area of expertise to excel in these complex healthcare environments.

How do you assess the attractiveness of the Spanish pharmaceutical industry for foreign investors?

Spain is already one of the major suppliers of high quality medicines in Europe and Brexit provides an opportunity for Spanish manufacturing operations to step up in this area. Mundipharma recognized this excellence by acquiring Cinfa Biotech in 2018 and, over the past months we have strengthened our partnerships with ROVI and 3P to launch a pegfilgrastim biosimilar fully developed in Spain across Europe. Our partnership with ESTEVE in the development of new molecules to target novel pain receptors is also testament to our belief in the innovation potential of the Spanish pharmaceutical industry.

Why did you decide to be a part of Cambridge Science Park and do you collaborate with the University?

Cambridge is a privileged hub of innovation and creativity and we feel privileged to be one of the pioneers in the Science Park, which is owned by Trinity College. Mundipharma and its UK subsidiaries Napp and Bard Pharmaceuticals, have a large presence in the campus with 1,000 employees. Our commitment to develop, manufacture and commercialize high quality medicines is also exemplified with us retaining our manufacturing and R&D capabilities within the Science Park providing services across the globe. We believe that our open space offices, cycling to work or meeting while walking around the Science Park also contribute to the high performing and learning environment that we want to foster for our employees at Mundipharma. Our collaboration with Cambridge University has been limited over the past but it is now an area of interest as we focus on innovation through partnerships. We are also proud of our contributions to the community through educational initiatives that have enabled more than 3,000 school children to spark their interest in science through our long-running Science Ambassador programs.

What are your main objectives for Mundipharma in the next couple of years?

As we successfully complete our transformation, our main focus will be around two elements of our business model; partnerships and innovation, which are expected to be the key drivers of the continued growth of our organization. At Mundipharma, we will continue to partner with healthcare providers to listen to their needs and enable the access to innovative medicines while supporting the education and training of doctors and patients in their appropriate use. Our proven commercial excellence is “agnostic” from a therapeutic area perspective and this enlarges our ability to partner with companies who want to bring their innovation into Europe regardless of the therapeutic area. Mundipharma offers them a fully integrated development and commercialization partner that can successfully navigate the complex European healthcare environment and will ensure their innovation reaches the appropriate patients in an ethical and responsible manner.



You may also be interested in...

Vanesa Martínez

SPAIN - Industry

Vanesa Martínez


CEO, Grupo Carinsa


SPAIN - Telecoms & IT

Osmar Polo


CEO, T-Systems Iberia

David Noack

SPAIN - Tourism

David Noack


Director, Madrid Convention Bureau, Spain

View All interviews



Become a sponsor