PMI progresses on acquisition of three pioneering pharmaceutical companies to accelerate “Beyond Nicotine” vision

20 Sep 2021 · 3 min read
PMI has acquired companies Fertin Pharma and OtiTopic, and proposed acquisition of Vectura to accelerate “beyond nicotine” vision.
Exterior of PMI’s R&D facility, The Cube

On September 16th, 2021, Philip Morris International (PMI) announced an unconditional offer to acquire the U.K. pharmaceutical company Vectura.

Additionally, PMI received confirmation that all other conditions to the offer had been satisfied or waived. The company has extended the offer to allow for the tender of further shares.

It follows the acquisitions of American inhaled drug specialist OtiTopic in August, followed by Danish pharmaceutical and well-being products manufacturer Fertin Pharma in September.

These developments better position PMI to create growth opportunities in adjacent business areas that go beyond tobacco and nicotine. Indeed, PMI’s 2025 goal is for at least USD 1 billion in net revenues to be generated from “Beyond Nicotine” products, such as selfcare wellness, and inhaled and oral therapeutics.

Vectura to play a critical role in PMI’s quest for “better”

PMI has reached an important milestone in its proposed acquisition of Vectura—a provider of innovative inhaled drug delivery solutions that enables its partners to deliver their medicines to patients.

Following the earlier announcement that PMI’s offer had become unconditional, as of September 20th, 2021*, PMI had acquired or received valid acceptances, in respect of the offer, of over 75 percent of the company’s voting shares. This means that PMI will now procure that Vectura makes applications to cancel the listing of Vectura Shares on the Official List, to cancel trading in Vectura Shares on the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market, and to re-register Vectura as a private limited company.

Speaking about the proposed acquisition, Jacek Olczak, PMI’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are very excited about the critical role Vectura will play in our ‘Beyond Nicotine’ strategy.

“We look forward to working with Vectura’s scientists and providing them with the resources and expertise to grow their business to help us achieve our goal of generating at least USD 1 billion in net revenues from ‘Beyond Nicotine’ products by 2025.”

Fertin Pharma and PMI: Visions aligned

On September 15, 2021, PMI announced the closing of the Fertin Pharma acquisition.
This was a historic moment in the company’s transformation, and a significant step on its journey toward helping create a better future for all of society.

“As we build our pipeline of smoke-free products with the goal of phasing out cigarettes and expand our business for the long-term toward areas outside of tobacco and nicotine, such as selfcare wellness, we welcome the contributions that Fertin Pharma, its management, and its employees will bring to PMI,” Olczak commented.

“PMI’s future is centered on health, science, technology, and sustainable business practices to deliver innovative products and solutions that aim to improve people’s lives and create a net positive impact on society. 

“The world-class expertise of Fertin aligns perfectly with this vision and will be an important part of our future.”

With Fertin Pharma’s substantial expertise, PMI plans to accelerate its presence in the fast-growing modern oral category via a broad range of smoke-free products. This includes nicotine pouches that can help more adults who would otherwise continue to smoke switch to better alternatives and stop smoking.

A leading developer and manufacturer of innovative pharmaceutical and well-being products based on oral and intra-oral delivery systems, Fertin Pharma is “excited to join PMI and start this new chapter,” according to its Chief Executive Officer, Peter Halling.

“By becoming part of PMI’s transformation,” Halling added, “Fertin will be uniquely positioned to continue to innovate, grow, and serve our customers as a leading CDMO [contract development and manufacturing company]—delivering on our vision to enable people to live healthier lives.

“Our shared commitment to science and consumer-centric innovations forms a strong basis for a very successful future together.”

OtiTopic: Growing PMI’s “Beyond Nicotine” pipeline

On August 9, 2021, PMI announced the acquisition of inhaled drug specialist OtiTopic—an American respiratory drug development company with a late-stage inhalable acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) treatment for acute myocardial infarction. This acquisition is part of the company’s strategic plan to leverage its expertise, scientific know-how, and capabilities in inhalation to grow a pipeline of inhaled therapeutics.

“The acquisition of OtiTopic is an exciting step in PMI’s “Beyond Nicotine” ambitions,” Olczak commented. “We have world-class expertise in the research, development, and commercialization of aerosolization and inhalable devices to help speed the delivery of this exciting product to market.”

Kambiz Yadidi, OtiTopic’s Chief Executive Officer, added that the transaction “aligns well with OtiTopic’s goals of unlocking what we believe to be a significant opportunity in inhaled therapeutics science.”

Acquisitions demonstrate PMI’s ambition

Working with these three pharmaceutical companies will help drive PMI’s “Beyond Nicotine’ strategy—as included in its 2020 Integrated Report—and accelerate its evolution outside of tobacco and nicotine into a broader lifestyle and consumer wellness company.

With the collective expertise represented by Vectura, Fertin Pharma, and OtiTopic, along with the existing scientific capabilities PMI has developed throughout its smoke-free transformation, these developments better position PMI to reach this ambition, create value in the long-term, and help to deliver a better, more sustainable future.


*Article was updated on September 21st, 2021