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Merck Serono signs diabetes partnership with BMS in China

Will co-promote Glucophage (metformin) formulations

Merck Serono Geneva HQ

Merck Serono has teamed up with Bristol-Myers Squibb to co-promote the Glucophage diabetes brand in China.

The deal will involve a number of different formulations of Glucophage (metformin), which is a mainstay of type II diabetes treatment and, in its original form, widely available as a generic.

China is estimated to have more people with diabetes than any other country with more than 90 million thought to be living with the condition. Eyeing this potential patient population, Merck KGaA's biopharmaceutical division is keen to expand its position in the market.

Belen Garijo, chief operating officer of the company's Merck Serono division, said: “The incidence of type II diabetes in China is growing at a tremendous rate. This new collaboration will help ensure that we continue to be a leading solution provider for these patients.

“Both BMS and Merck have long experience in the field of diabetes and this makes for a powerful partnership as we aim to improve the lives of patients in China.”

He added: “Merck's solid position in emerging markets will be further strengthened by the diabetes partnership in China.”

Originally developed by Germany's Merck, Glucophage has been marketed by BMS in China since 1999.

Now, combining their strengths, the two companies want to expand the geographic distribution of Glucophage, as well as provide diabetes-related health and medical information, including education for health professionals. 

The deal will also see the partners “significantly increase outreach to hospitals”, Merck said. 

The company's new formulations and presentations of metformin including Glucophage Powder in sachets and the fixed-dose combination Glucovance(metformin and glibenclamide) and the extended-release Glucophage XR, the latter of which BMS and Merck Serono plan to launch in China in the near future.

20th March 2013

From: Sales

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