Merck divests Biosimilars business to Fresenius

MerckMerck, a leading science and technology company, has announced the divestment of its Biosimilars business to Fresenius. The decision to divest Biosimilars is aligned with Merck’s strategy for its Healthcare business sector to focus on its pipeline of innovative medicines.

According to the terms agreed for the transaction, Merck will receive an upfront payment of 170 million €, milestone payments of up to 500 million € plus royalties on future product sales. The parties agreed to enter into supply and services agreements, which include drug development support and manufacturing services. Closing is expected in the second half of 2017, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

"Developing and marketing innovative products and services are at the forefront of our Group strategy and all the business strategies. Today’s step reflects our ambition to resolutely continue the transformation of Merck into a science and technology company," said Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck.

"The divestment of our Biosimilars business is a major step towards strategically aligning our R&D resources to Merck's Healthcare priorities. We have increasing confidence in our Biopharma pipeline and this transaction will help prioritize innovative drug development of high quality and first-to-market best-in-disease assets," commented Belén Garijo, member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Healthcare: "The partnership with Fresenius will allow us to exploit our Biosimilars portfolio to full potential while granting Merck a substantial return on prior investments."

"Biosimilars are a fast-growing segment within the pharmaceutical market. Some of the largest biological branded products will go off patent over the next years. With this acquisition, Fresenius Kabi enhances its position as a leading player in the injectables pharmaceutical market and further diversifies its product portfolio. The acquisition creates a platform for further growth," emphasized Mats Henriksson, CEO of Fresenius Kabi.

The Biosimilars business is part of the Healthcare business sector of Merck and is located in Aubonne and Vevey in Canton de Vaud, Switzerland. The business is developing a biosimilars portfolio focused on oncology and inflammatory disorders. After completion of the transaction the biosimilars unit will continue to operate in these locations.

About Merck
Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life - from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2016, Merck generated sales of € 15.0 billion in 66 countries.

Founded in 1668, Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck, Darmstadt, Germany holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.

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