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From left to right: Leitat's Executive Vicepresident Joan Parra.and Staffan Schüberg, CEO of Esteve (Photo: Esteve).

Esteve and Leitat announce the creation of WeLab, an strategic partnership to collaborate in research and development

Esteve and Leitat have announced today that they have reached an agreement to create WeLab, a bioincubator, accelerator hub and center of excellence for biomedicine & pharma in Spain, that will be headquartered in the facilities that were occupied until now by Esteve in the Barcelona Science Park (PCB).


Esteve and Leitat have announced today that they have reached an agreement to create WeLab, a new alliance that will be headquartered in the facilities that were occupied until now by Esteve in the Barcelona Science Park (PCB). This partnership presents an opportunity for both companies to make a difference in their model of innovation.

In the case of Esteve, its contribution is materialized by transferring its highly qualified team of professional’s experts in the discovery of new molecular entities in combination with its research infrastructure and equipment currently at the PCB, which will become part of WeLab from August 1st. Esteve’s rights to its proprietary molecules are not part of this transaction.

The alliance will bring Esteve benefits from different perspectives by: 1) Leveraging the team’s expertise and know how through a strategic collaboration to further develop Esteve’s current research portfolio under the new WeLab alliance. And 2) Flexibility in the access to innovation, as Esteve will have direct and preferential access to innovation and state-of-the-art technologies in the biomedical field through the Leitat network and to additional external sources of innovation. Esteve will hold the position of Chair at the WeLab Strategic Commission.

The alliance will strengthen Leitat’s position of becoming an internationally relevant player in the research and innovation on biomedicine and pharma, focused in adding value to the companies and the society through talent and knowledge, and improving the synergies of local and international institutions. In order to reach those objectives, companies and institutions will be invited to participate to this initiative that will ask for additional European and National funds to advance on its purpose to create a bio-incubator and projects accelerator, together with a Center of Excellence dedicated to pioneering pharmaceutical research in Spain.

For Leitat ”It represents a boost that will allow to create a new international player in future’s medicines research in a moment where everybody understands how important this activity is” said Leitat’s Executive Vicepresident Joan Parra.

Staffan Schüberg, CEO of Esteve said, ”This partnership, channeled through WeLab, sets the basis for a long-term collaboration and it is a new step forward in our strategic journey of becoming a global innovative specialty pharmaceutical company”.

According to the Consellera d’Empresa i Coneixement, Àngels Chacón, ”This agreement is a great step forward in strengthening R+D in the pharmaceutical and biomedical industry in Catalonia, a collaboration between a company and a technology centre that are at the forefront and which together will further position the Catalan ecosystem in this sector worldwide. From the Department of Enterprise and Knowledge, through ACCIÓ, the enforcement of the Catalan system of technology transfer is a priority and, without any doubt, agreements like this one contribute substantially”.

Locust Walk served as transaction advisor to Esteve.