11/11/2014

A TRADITIONAL APOTHECARY

Antoni Esteve Cruella

The new chairman of Farmaindustria -the pharmaceutical industry management- belongs to the seventh generation of the family that founded and currently directs the Esteve group.

A great-great-great-grandson, great-great-grandson, great-grandson, grandson and son of apothecaries, Antoni Esteve Cruella, recently appointed chairman of Farmaindustria -the pharmaceutical industry management-and director of the Esteve group , has medicine production and distribution streaming through his veins and a full knowledge of the sector's situation in his head.

He is going to need it. The challenge ahead of him is nothing less than combining the sector's profitability with the strong investment required by the research and development of avant-garde therapies, in a context of budget cuts implemented by the public administration.

This 56-year-old entrepreneur from Barcelona is no newcomer to the forefront of Farmaindustria. Dr. Esteve already chaired it between 2006 and 2008, and is thus knowledgeable about the dynamic s of a complex entity that gathers both Spanish and foreign capital companies. All it takes is getting used to these dynamics again.
He's made a good start. Less than 10 days after his appointment, Farmaindustria reached a preliminary agreement with the Tax Office to establish an expenditure ceiling linked to GDP growth. While negotiations were initiated by his predecessor -Pfizer chairwoman Elvira Sanz- Dr. Esteve has to see them through. According to those who know him, and given his spirit of consensus, he most certainly will.

Esteve Cruella's family saga goes back a very long way. It all started in 1787, when his ancestor Tomás Esteve Gabanyach left his native Cerdanya, settled in Manresa and took over the pharmacy of the San Andrés hospital. Years later, one of his descendants, Esteve Cruella's grandfather, decided to go a step further and set up his own business. He founded the Esteve pharmacy at Manresa's Plana del Olmo Street in 1929.

In these premises lies the seed of the Esteve group, which currently employs 2,300 professionals dedicated to the manufacture of active ingredients and intermediate products, with a turnover of 818 Million Euros in 2013.

Research and the desire to progress are part of the company's DNA. In 1932, the company's founder synthesized the first neo-arseno-benzene -an antisyphilitic- in Spain. Esteve Cruella, a Bachelor and Doctor of Pharmacy at the University of Barcelona, seems to have inherited his grandfather's energy. Indeed, his collaborators describe him as a demanding, creative, nonconformist man who brings everything into question in order to reach the best solution, and does so with optimism and "exquisite manners".

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