#BIO2013 Company Profile, Horizon Pharma

The next company I am profiling is also in the BIO 2013 Illinois Pavilion. Horizon Pharma Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that is developing and commercializing innovative medicines to target unmet therapeutic needs in arthritis, pain and inflammatory diseases. Horizon is headquartered in Deerfield IL.

Horizon has a great story and it is one that I love to talk about for three reasons.

First, Horizon is a great success story for our community. It all started in August 2008, with the help of the Illinois Department of Commerce and the Illinois Science Technology Park (IS+TP). Horizon began operations at the IS+TP and in less than 18 months, they added more than 20 employees to establish clinical, manufacturing and regulatory infrastructure; completed Phase 3 clinical studies and submitted the New Drug Application (NDA) for DUEXIS; and acquired European pain and inflammation company Nitec Pharma (Switzerland) to expand the company’s product portfolio and global commercial position.

April 2011, Horizon saw their efforts pay off when DUEXIS was approved by the FDA for the relief of the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis and to decrease the risk of developing upper gastrointestinal ulcers. Horizon launched DUEXIS in the U.S. in December 2011.

July 2011, Horizon priced its initial public offering, raising $49.5 million,and began trading on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol “HZNP” and in less than 16 months grew to over 250 employees.

July 2012 Horizon’s second lead product was approved by the FDA. LODOTRA (RAYOS in the US), is a proprietary programmed release formulation of low-dose prednisone that was formerly marketed in Europe and Asia by Horizon’s distribution and marketing partner, Mudipharma, and came from the acquisition of Nitec Pharma.
In 4 years horizon added over 200 jobs, had two successful NDA’s, and had a successful IPO, all in Chicago.

Second, Horizon Pharma bucked the trend of shipping Illinois talent to the coasts. Horizon moved from Palo Alto, California, to the Chicago area in July 2008 when Timothy P. Walbert was named president and chief executive officer.

Mr. Walbert, who is a Chicago pharma/biotech industry veteran who, as vice president and general manager of Abbott Immunology, led the global development and launch of the blockbuster RA/autoimmune drug HUMIRA and served as director, Celebrex North America and arthritis team leader, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Canada while at G.D. Searle & Company.
Tim Walbert could have easily started up in Palo Alto, but he decided that Chicago was the home for Horizon, and our community is better because of it.

And finally, I like to talk about Horizon, because of their leadership. Not only did Tim Walbert and Rob Metz bring Horizon to Chicago. They are both very active in the community. Extending their leadership to help the industry as a whole through their involvement with iBIO, and also sharing their experiences to help other companies get started. Participating in numerous committees and forums, Tim Walbert is on the board of directors of iBIO. And Rob Metz is a constant supporter, joining iBIO in DC ever year for the Annual BIO Fly-in. Where he shares the Horizon story with the Illinois Delegation to help promote good public policy for our community.

Horizon Pharma is a great company, and is managed by even better leaders. I hope if you are at BIO 2013, you will stop by the Illinois Pavilion (booth 1405) and learn more about Horizon.

Click here to read my previous BIO 2013 Company profile for Naurex.

If you have a company you would like me to feature, please contact me.This is a conversation, not an editorial. Did I forget something, get it wrong or do you agree? Please Comment, Like, Re-Tweet and Share.

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