Friday 20 April 2018

Waterford native and serial pharmaceuticals entrepreneur Mulligan backed his latest venture, Adapt Pharma, which he co-founded along with fellow pharma veteran Eunan Maguire with about €60m of his own money. It has won FDA approval for its Narcan nasal spray for heroin users and is growing steadily, carving out a sizeable piece of a market thought to be worth over $100m in the US and Canada.

In 2016, the firm had sales of $25m, but as is common for newly developed pharmaceuticals, it made a loss of $11m. Sales are likely to increase due to the rising problem of opioid addiction in the US, and the firm is busy marketing it to health providers there, while it also aims to market the spray in Europe. Meanwhile, Jazz Pharmaceuticals - the result of a merger of Jazz with Azur, a pharma venture he had set up in 2011 - has seen its share price rise by about 5pc in the past year.

Roscommon-based Mulligan previously played a key role in turning around Ireland's then-biggest drug firm Elan, which was struggling with too much debt. He wisely cashed in a €210m chunk of his shares, but he's believed to retain a stake now in the firm that took it over worth about €150m.

During the boom he bought former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds' house on leafy Ailesbury Road in Dublin for €14m, while also investing in other properties and, along with TV legend Gay Byrne, the Derek Quinlan syndicate that bought properties such as the Four Seasons hotel in Prague and others in London's Mayfair.

He is also believed to have backed a number of early stage companies in the pharma and medical sector, while a family investment firm has backed a whiskey distillery in Waterford that has been established by UK drinks industry investor Mark Reynier.

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