Supplier News Breaks
Bayer to purchase Merck's consumer health business
May 7th, 2014
BOSTON – Bayer AG is buying Merck & Co.’s consumer care for $14.2 billion. Under the agreement, Bayer will acquire Merck’s existing over-the-counter medications business, including the global trademark and prescription rights for Claritin and Afrin.
"The sale of our consumer care business is part of our efforts to ensure that assets within our portfolio align with our core strategy, have industry-leading potential and generate long-term shareholder value," said Kenneth Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer of Merck. "By unlocking value in Merck Consumer Care, we’re able to further our goal of being the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company through targeted investments that strengthen our product portfolio and enhance our pipeline."
The sale is expected to close in the second half of 2014.
Bayer chairman Marijn Dekkers described Merck Consumer Care as a strong business with a portfolio of well-established product brands, such as Claritin, Afrin and Coppertone that are leaders in their respective categories.
"The combination of Merck Consumer Care’s complementary portfolio of products and geographic reach with Bayer’s will create a global consumer care business better positioned to serve consumers around the world," he said. "We look forward to having the talents of the Merck team, with their track record of innovation, joining our strong consumer care team at Bayer HealthCare."
Merck also announced a worldwide clinical development collaboration with Bayer to market and develop its portfolio of soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) modulators. This includes Bayer’s Adempas (riociguat), the first member of this novel class of compounds.
Adempas is approved to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and is the only drug treatment approved for patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). Adempas is currently marketed in the United States and Europe for both PAH and CTEPH and in Japan for CTEPH. The two companies will equally share costs and profits from the collaboration and implement a joint development and commercialization strategy.
The collaboration also includes clinical development of vericiguat (BAY102), which is currently in Phase 2 trials for worsening heart failure as well as opt-in rights for other early-stage sGC compounds in development at Bayer.
"Both Merck and Bayer have a rich history of developing and commercializing innovative products to meet significant unmet medical needs," said Frazier. "Our collaboration with Bayer builds on our respective strengths, and we look forward to working with Bayer in the field of sGC modulators.
"The value we obtained for our consumer business is a tribute to our colleagues who have built an outstanding business with a talented team and trusted, well-known product brands. We know the strengths of our team will serve Bayer well."
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