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Merck KGaA to invest Euros 100 million in biosimilars Posted 23/05/2014

Germany’s Merck KGaA is looking for new sources of growth, one of which it sees as being biosimilars.

To accomplish this, the company is ready for more acquisitions, as well as searching for pharmaceutical in-licensing deals and planning to invest around Euros 100 million in biosimilars.

The move comes in the wake of news that Merck KGaA’s top-selling drug Rebif (interferon beta-1a), an injectable multiple sclerosis treatment, is gradually being replaced by new orally administered drugs such as Biogen Idec’s Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate). Merck KGaA’s other top-selling drug Erbitux (cetuximab) is also expected to be close to reaching its peak sales potential. However, despite declining royalty, license and commission income, expected to reduce company income by more than Euros 100 million, Merck KGaA has set itself the goal of maintaining a stable sales level in 2014.

In fact, Merck KGaA has already created a biosimilars unit [1] called Merck Serono and has made a biosimilars deal with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (Dr Reddy’s) to co-develop biosimilar cancer drugs [2].

References
1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Hurdles to entering the biosimilars’ market [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2014 May 23]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Biosimilars/General/Hurdles-to-entering-the-biosimilars-market
2.   GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Merck KGaA and Dr Reddy’s to collaborate on biosimilar mAbs [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2014 May 23]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Biosimilars/News/Merck-KGaA-and-Dr-Reddy-s-to-collaborate-on-biosimilar-mAbs 

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Source: Merck KGaA

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