Building a leading European specialty pharmaceutical company


  • Healthcare
  • Year of investment
  • Fund
    Apax VIII
  • Status
  • Date of exit
    September 2020

Neuraxpharm is a leading pan-European specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of central nervous system (“CNS”) disorders including debilitating diseases such as depression, psychosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

The company operates in 15 countries and covers 85% of the European CNS drug market with its products.


Drawing on Apax Partners’ deep knowledge of the healthcare sector, the team saw an opportunity to create a European champion in CNS specialty pharmaceuticals, consolidating a fragmented market by combining subscale single country operators.

The transaction

The team had actively been targeting the European pharmaceutical space when, in 2016, they saw an opportunity to acquire Spanish local champion Invent Farma to combine it with the German local champion Neuraxpharm Arzneimittel, creating the foundations of the pan-European Neuraxpharm group.

Value creation

Strengthened management: identified and attracted an experienced management team, including the CEO, Dr Jörg-Thomas Dierks, and CFO, Lluís Pérez, as well as new Board members with significant industry experience.

Post-merger integration: actively supported the integration of the two businesses, established a group structure and blueprint to expand product marketing into new countries.

Rapid international expansion: both through acquisitions and expanding greenfield operations, transitioning from a local player to a leading pan-European specialty company. The Apax Funds partially identified and supported acquisitions to expand into Italy, France, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland and Ireland.

Significant M&A: Under Apax Funds’ ownership, the company closed ten significant company and product acquisitions and 60+ in-licensing agreements.

Invested heavily in a robust product pipeline: The Apax Funds supported Neuraxpharm to invest heavily in a robust product pipeline that broadened its CNS portfolio with unique value-added and high-tech medicines, helping grow the employee base to 850 and annual revenues to over €460 million.


In 2020, the Apax Funds sold their stake in Neuraxpharm to funds advised by Permira.