Merck and Bayer also will collaborate to develop and market a class of drugs that includes Bayer’s Adempas, which is approved to treat a deadly lung disease, they said in a statement today. Merck will pay Bayer $1 billion for the collaboration, with additional payments possible if sales goals are met.
The deal is the second-biggest in Bayer’s history, and the second large consumer-health transaction in a month of pharmaceutical industry reshuffling as drugmakers drop units that aren’t leaders in a particular segment. Novartis AG (NOVN) and GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) agreed April 22 to a consumer joint venture. Glaxo also sold its oncology business to Novartis, which sold its vaccines line to Glaxo and its animal-health business to Eli Lilly & Co.
“Strategically, this is a consistent step for Bayer,” Ulrich Huwald, a Hamburg-based analyst for Warburg Research, said in a telephone interview. “They have a very strong brand, a clearly positive position in the over-the-counter business.” (Más)