Kelso Pharma closes acquisition of Italian specialty pharma company, Velit Biopharma

Dylan MacdonaldKelso Pharma

The acquisition of Italian specialty pharma company, Velit Biopharma (Velit), by UK-based specialty pharma business, Kelso Pharma (Kelso), announced on 13th November 2023, has now closed.

This is the first step for Kelso in its European expansion strategy and Velit is now part of the Kelso group of companies, which also includes Glasgow-based Stirling Anglian Pharmaceuticals (SAP).

Velit specialises in developing and registering “hard to make” medicines which it then makes available to patients through partnerships with pharma companies and distributors across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. It has more than 100 partnerships in 48 regions/countries covering 167 products, with more than 15 further launches with existing partners planned for 2024 onwards.

Velit’s therapeutic focus on gastroenterology, dermatology and women’s health, complements Kelso’s existing portfolio of medicines. Velit’s portfolio and pipeline also features products focused on oncology and ophthalmology, further extending Kelso’s therapeutic range, with a number of products available to be commercialised in the UK through Kelso’s existing infrastructure.

Dr Tom Stratford, Chief Executive of Kelso Pharma, said: “We welcome the Velit team to Kelso Pharma. I am confident that, together, we can build on this deal as a springboard for our European expansion while continuing to meet the needs of our patients and clinicians.”

Dr Nicola Travierso of Velit, said: “We are delighted to become part of the Kelso Pharma family and look forward to helping Tom and the team grow the business together.”

Kelso Pharma is focused on bringing innovative, value added, specialty medicines to the European healthcare markets, providing medicines that improve the lives of patients in a cost-effective and ethical manner. The company is growing through a blend of company and product acquisitions, partnerships and organic growth and the Velit transaction is an important stepping stone for Kelso Pharma’s ambition to expand into the rest of Europe.

Since its inception in 2020, Kelso Pharma has taken a number of positive steps to grow the business in an effective and sustainable manner, positively impacting its partners and patients. The acquisition of Glasgow-based SAP in January 2022 provided a new UK platform and springboard for future sales growth for the business.

SAP’s brand portfolio already has four medicines in the UK healthcare market, including Acepiro (Acetylcysteine) which was launched in early 2023 and is used to loosen mucus and to ease coughing up in cases of respiratory diseases with viscous mucus. In October last year, Kelso announced the acquisition of two UK approved dermatology products from German pharma company, Dermapharm.

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