Turkish firm Abdi İbrahim acquires major stake in Swiss biotech business OM Pharma

One of Turkey’s largest pharmaceutical companies Abdi İbrahim has set its sights on international expansion after acquiring a 28.5 percent stake of Geneva-based OM Pharma in a deal worth 500 million Swiss francs ($530 million).

The deal, announced on 18 Sep., forms part of a larger sale of microbial specialist OM Pharma, after its parent company the Vifor Pharma Group sold the rest of its shares to Swiss-based Optimus Holding.

The joint venture to acquire OM Pharma makes Abdi İbrahim “the first and only Turkish pharma company to form a strategic partnership with a European counterpart”, according to its statement on Friday.

Abdi İbrahim currently operates in 12 countries and exports to 60 countries worldwide.

As the second largest shareholder in OM Pharma, the Turkish firm will have access to new markets in Latin America, China and the United States, while offering the Swiss firm opportunities in countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

The agreement will also see the production of some of the drugs in OM Pharma’s portfolio move to Abdi İbrahim’s Istanbul plant.

The Turkish firm has also set aside 250 million francs ($265 million) to aid OM Pharma’s biotechnological research and development activities.

“The vital importance of domestic pharmaceutical industry has been better understood in the hard pandemic period the world and our country has been going through,” said Abdi İbrahim chair Nezih Barut.

“While we have been the Turkey market leader in the last 18 years, we’ve always aimed high. We are the first Turkish company making it into the top 100 pharmaceutical firms in the world,” he added.

Established in 1937, OM Pharma specialises in medicines that help prevent recurrent respiratory and urinary tract infections. It is also active in the treatment of vascular diseases. Its key brands are Broncho-Vaxom®, Dicynone®, Doxium® and Uro-Vaxom®.

The firm’s website claims that, “Broncho-Vaxom® and Uro-Vaxom® benefit from increasing medical interest as international health authorities and governments address the ongoing rise of antimicrobial resistance worldwide due to an overuse of antibiotics, in particular for respiratory infections,” adding that “Broncho-Vaxom® plays an important role as it is indicated to prevent respiratory infections of both viral and bacterial etiology.”


Abdi Ibrahim R&D Center and Production Facility in Esenyurt, Istanbul, 2017. Photo © Abdi Ibrahim