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August 14, 2017

Newly launched Vicarius Pharma secures CHF21 million financing


  • Vicarius offers new option for companies to commercialize their first product in Europe
  • Innovators retain strategic control and can take over commercial organizations built by Vicarius
  • Enables up to 200% greater total returns compared to traditional partnering strategies


KUESSNACHT, SWITZERLAND, August 14, 2017 (Business WIRE)

Vicarius Pharma AG, a newly-launched company providing U.S.-based bio-pharmaceutical companies a novel approach to commercializing their first asset in European markets, has secured a CHF21 million ($21.8 million) investment through a Series A preferred stock financing from private investors.


Unlike existing European commercialization options that require innovator companies to either invest significant resources to build their own infrastructure, or to sign away rights and value to a licensing partner, Vicarius’ innovative approach enables U.S. companies to retain control of their assets and extract significantly greater value. Vicarius acts as the innovator’s go-to-market organization for Europe, building a customer-facing organization and commercializing the asset in the innovator’s name, while absorbing all launch costs.


In a partnership with Vicarius, innovator companies retain strategic control over R&D, plus the flexibility to recover at any time the asset and dedicated organization built by Vicarius. Total returns achieved through Vicarius’ unique partnership model are expected to be 1.5 to 2 times greater than through traditional partnering strategies.


About Vicarius



Vicarius Pharma delivers bio-pharma companies greater strategic choice in bringing late-stage (end of phase 3/registration phase) specialty, orphan/rare and hospital therapeutics to the European market. Vicarius provides companies with an option beyond the binary decision to “go it alone” in Europe versus out-licensing to an established pharma company, with the loss of control this entails.


When entering Europe with Vicarius Pharma, partner companies avoid the risk and costs of trying to build their own organization but don’t lose strategic control over their asset, as they would in a typical out-licensing deal. Our business model allows them the option to recapture the asset at any time of the partnership, for instance if they decide to go direct in Europe or on a change of control.



Vicarius offers highly flexible partnership models and takes legal and operational responsibility for the direct commercialization of partner assets in Europe. We build a customer-facing organization, commercialize the product and absorb launch costs, thereby protecting our partners’ P&L. Vicarius pays the partner a base royalty from the first day of sales and shares profits following break-even.



Bridging the gap between going direct and out-licensing in Europe addresses a real market need. Our partners can rely on the operational expertise and experience of our Team, preserve the highest strategic flexibility and enjoy a better economic share than typical out-licensing deals, without the cost and risk of trying to go direct in Europe.



  • Q Why choose Vicarius to commercialize in Europe?

    Partner companies want the assurance of operational expertise and focus, reduced financial risk, excellent economic returns and strategic flexibility. The team behind Vicarius combines the expertise and know-how gathered from over 40 product launches on a pan-European level. There is no better launch partner, especially for a single asset company. In addition, our partnership model offers the highest strategic flexibility and a better economic share than typical out-licensing deals.

  • Q How will Vicarius deliver higher economic share than a typical out-licensing agreement?

    Out-licensing is typically not a win-win. Licensees have been offering poor returns to asset owners because the only alternative has been to “go it alone”. Our model provides a new option, and improved terms. We are targeting a return for our asset owners, on average, of around 50% of total asset economics. With traditional licensing models, the return is typically below 30%.

  • Q What are the key benefits of Vicarius’ partnership model compared to out-licensing?

    The asset (and, if desired, the in-country commercial organizations) can be recovered at any time of the partnership.

    We only take on a few selected assets and build a right-sized commercial organization around each one. The success of each asset is a top priority for our European Executive Team.

    Our partnering terms offer a high share of economics via profit share and royalties. Mid-teen royalties of a typical licensing agreement can’t match the economics offered in a Vicarius partnership. This holds also true if you take an average upfront payment into account.

    In addition, the valuation of the innovator company does not suffer from a “poison pill” effect of a long-term out-license agreement.

  • Q What therapeutic areas do you cover?

    We focus on specialty, hospital and orphan/rare therapeutics, combine the experience gathered from over 40 pan-European product launches, and are familiar with a very wide range of therapeutic areas. Vicarius has the wealth of experience, access to relevant networks and outstanding management capacity to make the European product launch a success for our partner. Through joint steering bodies, our partners’ experience with the asset is directly leveraged in the European context.

  • Q How will you balance a portfolio of partners?

    We only manage a few selected assets at any given time. Our partnership models are built on full alignment of interests and incentives. Each asset owner has oversight of the collaboration through the JSC and we hold ourselves to agreed KPIs.

  • Q How will you build an organization around my asset?

    Hiring good people is an area in which new market entrants really struggle, and often fail. On the other hand, licensee organizations are frequently not a good fit for the in-licensed asset. We have extensive networks across Europe, providing us with unmatched access to talent.


    We will build right-sized customer-facing organizations with the right skills, at the right time, to maximize the chances of commercial success. These organizations will be supported by cross-functional experts allocated across different assets. The synergies of this structure are passed on to our partners in improved economics.

  • Q How do you work with partners?

    Vicarius plans and executes European launches. Asset owners keep the control of R&D and global branding without being over-stretched. We will set-up joint steering bodies to fit client strategy and resources. We hold ourselves accountable to pre- and post-launch performance measures, thus reducing asset owners’ need to “oversee” European operations.

  • Q Are your partner agreements exclusive?

    We never sell competing products. We include this our deal terms.

  • Q Who is backing Vicarius Pharma?

    Shares of Vicarius Pharma are held by founders and private investors. We raised CHF 21 million in 2017. We have access to further funding to support the growth of our business as an entrepreneurial pharmaceutical company.


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