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Bluepharma's production plant was acquired from Bayer AG when, at the end of the 1990s, the German multinational company made a business decision to consolidate production at its headquarters in Germany. Bayer announced plans to sell the Coimbra manufacturing site by advertising in an international magazine. Paulo Barradas Rebelo, who had gained management and business skills and experience in logistics from a background as Chief Executive Officer of a major wholesaler and distribution company to about 500 pharmacy units within a co-operative, read about the planned sale. He contacted Sérgio Simões, who worked in research locally as a professor at the University of Coimbra. The two men, with Isolina Mesquita who was plant manager for Bayer's Coimbra site, decided they would set up a new company, Bluepharma, with the aim of acquiring the Bayer plant and developing it as an integrated contract manufacturing business. The new company took the responsibility for all former Bayer employees, so the German work culture is still present in Bluepharma.
Its buildings occupy about 14,000 sq m at several levels on a land area of 18,700 sq m. The buildings have had several improvements, the most significant being in 1989, when the site was still owned by Bayer, and in 1998. During the first half of the 2000s, the company built a laboratory between the two main buildings to do more research and development work.
Bluepharma develops its activity on the following areas:
Bluepharma has clients in Portugal, France, Germany and in the UK, among others. One of Bluepharma's main clients is Bayer to which the Portuguese company produced around 3.5 million units in 2004. Other clients include renowned pharmaceuticals brands and companies such as Teva, Ivax, Arrow, EG LABO (Stada), Bexal (Hexal), Mepha (Ratiopharm) and Ciclum (Grünenthal).
Most Bluepharma's employees have academic degrees and many have post-graduate degrees (MSc and PhDs) as well.
The commercial department began activities in October 2003.