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Merck KGaA divests allergy business to Dermapharm

The sum of the agreement remains undisclosed

Merck

Germany’s Merck KGaA has agreed to sell its allergy business – Allergopharma – to Dermapharm for an undisclosed sum.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of this year, although it is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.

According to a statement from the company, Merck has made acquisitions and divestments which total to an impressive €40bn since 2007.

Merck’s divestment of Allergopharma aligns with the company’s ongoing stategy to focus its healthcare business more entirely on the development of medicines which address difficult-to-treat diseases.

Although Merck did not disclose the amount Derpharm paid for the Allergopharma business, it said that “the divestment to Dermapharm will sustainably strengthen the business of Allergopharma”.

The value of Allergopharma was disclosed, however, with Merck revealing that in 2018, the business generated sales of €88m.

The Allergopharma business is focused on allergen-specific immunotherapy of type 1 allergies, such as hay fever or allergic asthma.

Proceedings from divestments such as the Allergopharma deal will help Merck in other ventures – including its recently announced seed fund which aims to foster innovations in health and life sciences in China.

The initiative focuses on early innovations developed within the Chinese innovation ecosystem, that are focused on healthcare, life sciences, performance materials or new businesses.

The seed investment is intended to help the startups reach the next value infection point within 18-24 months.

The agreement with Dermapharm encompasses the Allergopharma business in Europe and Asia, including the therapeutic and diagnostic product portfolio as well as the production site in Reinbek near Hamburg in Germany.

However, one project is not part of the transaction and will remain with Merck – namely its adrenaline autoinjector development project for the treatment of anaphylactic reactions.

Aside from that product, Dermapharm is set to acquire the rest of Allergopharma’s marketed medicines, which are available in 18 countries across the globe.

Dermapharm is the leading manufacturer of off-patent branded medicines for selected markets in Germany, with more than 900 marketing authorisations for around 250 active ingredients.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

20th February 2020

From: Sales

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