Today, ALK is the global leader in allergy immunotherapy (AIT), a unique and broadly approved, disease-modifying treatment which addresses the underlying cause of allergy as well as reducing patients' symptoms and their use of medications.
ALK's product portfolio, protected via biological manufacturing and sourcing processes, currently helps around 1.5 million people suffering from severe respiratory allergies and asthma. However, this constitutes less than 1% of the total number of people affected by allergic rhinitis world-wide and ALK captures less than 2% of the overall spend in the global allergy and allergic asthma market.
The strategy aims to transform ALK into a broader-based allergy company, by expanding its core allergy immunotherapy (AIT) business – especially in North America – and using its expertise to grow especially the tablets franchise and introduce new, complementary products and services that reach even more allergy sufferers. At the same time, ALK will engage with these allergy sufferers earlier in their disease journey via digital platforms and other initiatives, smoothing their path to AIT treatment, and partnering more closely with prescribers to treat more patients.
The new ALK will support patients across a wider spectrum of allergic disease – from early intervention, through symptom treatment, specific diagnosis, AIT and anaphylaxis treatment.
Carsten Hellmann, ALK's President & CEO, says: "The paradigm for ALK has changed from two years ago. In that time, we have significantly grown our European business, we have invested heavily in North America, and also in our legacy, non-tablet business. We believe that we can build further on these foundations to establish a bigger, more robust ALK, which is why we are evaluating, with support from our principal shareholder, how to strengthen our financial resources to sustain the required high investment levels, predominantly in the USA."
He continues: "We have successfully developed a new generation of oral allergy vaccines in tablet form, and we believe strongly that these products have the potential to make a major difference for people with severe allergies and related asthma. However, it is a fact that today the vast majority of people with allergies never receive AIT treatment while, for those who do, our products are typically a last resort after years of trying other solutions. In light of this, our goal is to build an effective future growth platform for these core products and to leverage our profound expertise more effectively, engaging with patients earlier in their disease so that we can service many more people than we do today."
The updated strategy – which builds upon ALK's successful European business and recent investments in North America – places succeeding with the tablet portfolio at its core, and has four key components: 1) Establish and succeed in North America; 2) Complete the tablet portfolio for all relevant ages; 3) Patient engagement systems and adjacent business; and 4) Optimise and reallocate ALK's resources.