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Merck sells manufacturing facility to Sanofi

Published on 05/12/14 at 09:58am
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Sanofi’s animal health unit Merial is acquiring Merck’s manufacturing facility in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico.

The proposed transaction requires the nod from the US Federal Trade Commission and if approved, the deal will allow Merial to expand its global manufacturing operations and make use of the unit’s chewables’ manufacturing technology.

As part of the agreement, Merial will retain the approximately 200 Merck Barceloneta employees currently employed at this formulation and packaging site.

"The Barceloneta manufacturing operation aligns well with Sanofi and Merial’s global business and manufacturing strategies,” says Merial chief executive and Sanofi EVP Carsten Hellmann.

“This addition to Merial’s global manufacturing network, which spans nine countries, enables Merial to further extend its global production capabilities to deliver high-quality and innovative medicines. We look forward to assuming responsibility for this global production site and welcoming its experienced employees to Merial.”

Merck recently put the formulation and packaging operations of the site up for sale, and the Barceloneta production facility has been involved in – and will maintain responsibility for – manufacturing and packaging Merial’s Heartgard/Plus products.

When not swapping and selling assets both Sanofi and Merck have been busy with other ventures of late. Evotec and Sanofi just entered negotiations for a major multi-component strategic alliance worth around €250 million over the next five years.

Focussing on initiatives aimed at improving drug discovery and pre-clinical development, the collaboration will also see German-based Evotec acquire Sanofi’s scientific operations in Toulouse.

The partnership will also involve collaboration on selected pre-clinical growth projects with initial focus in oncology.

Meanwhile Merck’s collaboration with NewLink Genetics could be bearing fruit, via an experimental Ebola vaccine that has shown no major side effects in its first trial according to the hospital conducting the study.

Brett Wells

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