Apellis Pharmaceuticals is an American biotech company that has established a hub in the Greater Zurich Area for all its non-US activities since the beginning of 2019. Apellis currently has more than 750 employees, including those at its headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts. Over 30 highly experienced pharma experts are employed by Apellis Switzerland GmbH in Zug.
Apellis was founded in 2009 and focuses on developing and commercializing therapeutic active ingredients. The company is a pioneer in the field of complement system inhibitor therapies. Apellis received its first drug approval in 2021 and expects to receive a second approval in 2022.
The drug, which contains the active ingredient pegcetacoplan, is being marketed in the US under the name Empaveli. Outside of the US, it is sold as Aspaveli by the Swedish partner company Sobi. It has received approval as the first targeted therapy for the rare blood disease paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH). For Empaveli alone, Apellis recorded net product sales of 15.7 million US dollars in the second quarter of 2022. The new application for pegcetacoplan awaiting approval is for intravitreal use as a therapeutic option for patients with geographic atrophy. This is one of the main causes of blindness in the Western world.