Corporate innovation units

Ferrer Advanced Biotherapeutics

Without collaboration there is no innovation. And much of the most groundbreaking and innovative research is being developed outside the business context. This model is based on cross-fertilization and synergies between pharmaceutical companies, biotech startups, academic institutions and public research bodies.

Founded in 2013, Ferrer Advanced Biotherapeutics (FAB) works to identify projects primarily based on new technological platforms and innovative approaches to developing therapeutic products of high added value that respond to unmet medical needs.

FAB develops two types of projects. In the field of biotherapeutics, projects are focused on advanced therapies (cell therapy, regenerative medicine), drug repositioning and treatments aimed at new therapeutic targets that have preclinical proof of concept. In the field of molecular diagnostics, projects are focused on diagnosis and the prediction of response to cancer therapy.

Ferrer Advanced Biotherapeutics’ strategic alliances include:

  • Histocell: A biopharmaceutical company specializing in tissue engineering and cell therapy for application in regenerative medicine. The technology is based on the use of adult stem cells applied alone or in combination with new-generation biomaterials. Projects include developing cell therapy for the treatment of spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries and manufacturing agreements for other cell projects.
  • PEBC-IDIBELL: The Epigenetics and Cancer Biology Program (PEBC), led by Dr. Manel Esteller, is regarded as a leading global institution in the field of basic epigenetics and its application to the study of cancer and rare diseases. The PEBC, which is part of the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute, is made up of nine research groups and more than 80 researchers. EPICUP, a PEBC-IDIBELL / Ferrer collaboration, was launched onto the market in 2015 for the diagnosis of cancer of unknown primary. It is the first multiplexed diagnostic product based on an epigenetic platform. Other oncological diagnostic products are in various stages of development.

Ferrer Clinical Development

Ferrer’s long-term commitment to innovation is clear. And it is supported by the capacity to conduct clinical research of the highest quality. The Clinical Development department represents a fundamental part of Ferrer’s drug development strategy, guaranteeing safety and efficacy before a product reaches the market.

This department coordinates international clinical trials, selecting hospital research centers in strategically important countries and organizing and conducting the trials in line with international best practice. The aim is to ensure that vital medicines, which respond to real medical needs and can improve patients’ quality of life, reach those who need them most in the shortest possible time.

In order to ensure that the highest quality data is collected in clinical trials, product logistics, biological samples and documentation are coordinated by the Clinical Development department before being assessed by national and international health authorities.

The department reflects the collaborative nature of research in Ferrer, working closely with other pharmaceutical companies, research institutions and public health institutions to bring to market a wide range of medicinal products, focusing particularly on the key therapeutic areas in which Ferrer has proven expertise.

Corporate Product Development

CPD is a development unit with a large international multidisciplinary team entirely focused on drug-making excellence. It provides patent studies, technical feasibility studies, product development and transfer to manufacturing units.

Specialized in finding innovative solutions in the development of new, effective and safe products, CPD exploits the synergies between development teams and patent specialists that are essential to the success of any new development. It has the expertise to develop any type of conventional oral or dermal product, as well as more complex products based on inhalation devices, transdermal patches, depot IM formulations and sublingual gels.

CPD’s alliances with universities and specialist companies combined with its continual improvement process ensure that it meets its primary goal: to develop pharmaceutical products of the highest quality in the simplest possible way.

Independent Innovation Units

Spherium Biomed

Spherium is a company that develops biomedical innovations from academic sources, accelerating their transition to the value chain and to the market. Our main aim is to de-risk these innovations, carrying out key activities to mature them, and then to license the products to companies that will continue their development to market.

The Spherium Biomed team combines an entrepreneurial mindset, knowledge of the research environment and a profound understanding of the needs of the pharmaceutical industry. Spherium’s focus is on taking projects to the next value milestone and the result is unmatched expertise in executing biomedical development plans and an extensive portfolio of successfully out-licensed projects.

At Spherium Biomed we turn biomedical knowledge into real social and economic value.


Diater’s diagnostic and immunological R&D unit has developed revolutionary techniques, such as in situ hybridisation and advanced chromatography, in the areas of chemical synthesis, proteomics and molecular biology.

The objectives are clear: to make real improvements in the quality of life of patients with allergies and to improve diagnostic techniques in neglected areas such as hepatitis C. To this end, its programmes are carried out with the support of international academic institutions as well as public bodies and foundations.

Diater’s applications laboratory provides the most advanced technology for the performance of immunoallergic studies. These include clinical reports, characterisation of new allergenic sources, allergen purification, follow-up of immunological changes during immunotherapy and evaluation.

ABAC Therapeutics

ABAC Therapeutics is committed to finding therapeutic solutions for patients that are infected with highly antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens and that leave affected patients with limited or non-existent treatment options.

The dramatic rise of multiple-drug resistant (MDR) Gram-negative infections poses a serious clinical burden in terms of prevalence, mortality and healthcare costs. Incremental improvements to existing broad spectrum antibiotics are no longer capable of keeping up with the evolution of resistance. New antibacterials that have novel mechanisms of action and that are not cross-resistant with existing antibiotics are urgently required.

The successful application of the proprietary PasNas drug discovery platform has enabled ABAC Therapeutics to discover novel compounds active against the “Big Four” Gram-negative bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumanii, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Escherichia coli. These represent ABAC’s principal targets in the search for precision treatments of serious bacterial infections with pathogen-specific antibacterials that have novel mechanisms of action.


Our aim is to establish long-term relationships with biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies in our strategic therapeutic areas.