Fresenius to buy Merck's biosimilars business for as much as €670 mn

German healthcare giant Fresenius SE & Co KGaA today said that its unit Fresenius Kabi will buy Darmstadt-based Merck KGaA's biosimilars business for as much as €670 million.

Under the terms of the deal, Fresenius Kabi will pay €170 million in cash upon closing and around €500 million in milestone payments subject to the achievments of development targets.

Mats Henriksson, CEO of Fresenius Kabi, said, ''Biosimilars are a fast-growing segment within the pharmaceutical market. Some of the largest biological branded products will go off patent over the next years. With this acquisition, Fresenius Kabi enhances its position as a leading player in the injectables pharmaceutical market and further diversifies its product portfolio.''

Merck's biosimilars business comprises the entire development pipeline and its team of more than 70 employees located in Aubonne and Vevey, Switzerland.

The product pipeline has a focus on oncology and autoimmune diseases with current branded sales of around $30 billion.

Merck's biosimilar business includes a drug, which is in advanced clinical trials, and competes with AbbVie Inc's popular arthritis treatment Humira.

Merck had an alliance with India's Dr. Reddy's to develop biosimilars for multiple cancer drugs.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the second half of 2017.

This deal comes on the same day when Fresenius Kabi struck a deal to acquire US generic drug maker Acorn Inc for $4.75 billion (€4.37 billion) (See: German healthcare giant Fresenius to buy US generic drugmaker Akorn for $4.75 bn).  >>> Clickable link to Report No 3