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The redemption of PharmaMar: from hell to heaven in five years


When at the end of 2017 the European Medicines Agency (EMA) informed PharmaMar that he could not market his compound Aplidin in Europe, many thought it was the beginning of the end for biotech. The decision sank their titles, just like they sank them unfavorable results from your compound lurbinectedin (then Zepsyre and now Zepzelca) in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer patients in early 2018. However, the company He has redeemed himself and has managed to recover brilliantly, both on the stock market and in terms of meeting its objectives.

Zeltia became PharmaMar through a reverse merger in 2015. The oncology subsidiary took over the parent company, dedicated to insecticides and paints, with the aim of "providing flexibility to the resulting company to carry out new corporate operations", especially the jump to the American market, something that has not happened yet. That year PharmaMar fell 6% on the stock market. In 2016, those accumulated cuts were 8% and, in 2017, close to 9%. In 2018, amid negative news such as those cited above, the hit was 56% And that's where few thought PharmaMar would get out of the hole.

But life gives surprises, and the company achieved last year make the market forget about Aplidin to focus on lurbinectedin. In March he announced positive results in the trial of this compound in monotherapy in small cell lung cancer, and in June he presented those favorable results at ASCO. In mid-August, PharmaMar announced its intention to present in the United States, under the 'accelerated approval' regulation, the application for the registration of lurbinectedin for the treatment of small cell lung cancer, something he did in december. The closing clasp of the year was the exclusive license agreement for lurbinectedin in the US with Jazz Pharmaceuticals.

While this compound progressed by leaps and bounds, the company wanted to relaunch another of its flagship drugs, Yondelis, and did so in the summer of 2019 through signing a new agreement with Janssen Whereby it reserved the right to sell and distribute the product, exclusively, in the United States, Europe and Japan, but transferred to PharmaMar all rights over the compound in the rest of the countries of the world. In practice, This has led to the biotechnology company having closed multiple agreements to commercialize Yondelis in South Africa, Latin America or Canada, which has increased sales substantially.


The Ibex Technical Advisory Committee has announced this week that PharmaMar will be listed on the selective from September 21. Fifteen years after exiting it as Zeltia, the company regained a strong market position as a result of the rally that it has also recorded throughout this year after another series of positive milestones.

As soon as 2020 began, PharmaMar announced that it had received the initial payment of 200 million dollars resulting from the agreement signed with Jazz to commercialize lurbinectedin. At the same time, the company has wanted to make the Covid-19 pandemic profitable with the development of kits to detect the disease, made by its subsidiary Genomica, and resurrecting Aplidin in a 'master move' – received with enthusiasm by some and skepticism by others – to apply it against the coronavirus.

The big announcement this year, in addition to his investigations with Aplidin for Covid, has undoubtedly been the approval in June, by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), of lurbinectedin in the USA for the treatment of metastatic small cell lung cancer. That month, PharmaMar also received payment from 100 million from Jazz Pharmaceuticlas for this decision

All in all, the company has half a year left in which it promises to continue making announcements that serve as a catalyst and make it a protagonist of the Ibex. The experts from Bolsamanía say that, with their input and that of Almirall, the Technical Advisory Committee has wanted to strengthen the pharmaceutical sector. Watch out for Grifols, Almirall and PharmaMar for the remainder of the year. At a time like the one we are in, they will undoubtedly be clear protagonists.

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