Mer­ck KGaA sells off its biosim­i­lars port­fo­lio in €670M deal; uniQure boost­ed by PRIME; Strug­gling Oph­thotech gets new CEO

→ With its new ap­proval for the check­point drug avelum­ab in the bank, so to speak, Mer­ck KGaA has com­plet­ed a deal to sell off its port­fo­lio of biosim­i­lars. The Ger­man Mer­ck says Fre­se­nius is bag­ging the lot for €170 mil­lion up­front and €500 mil­lion more in mile­stones. Biosim­i­lars are start­ing to stack up as the first wave of knock­offs ar­rive in the US. And that might ex­plain a rel­a­tive­ly mod­est up­front for these drugs. “We have in­creas­ing con­fi­dence in our Bio­phar­ma pipeline and this trans­ac­tion will help pri­or­i­tize in­no­v­a­tive drug de­vel­op­ment of high qual­i­ty and first-to-mar­ket best-in-dis­ease as­sets,” com­ment­ed Belén Gar­i­jo, mem­ber of the Ex­ec­u­tive Board of Mer­ck KGaA and CEO of their Health­care unit: “The part­ner­ship with Fre­se­nius will al­low us to ex­ploit our Biosim­i­lars port­fo­lio to full po­ten­tial while grant­i­ng us a sub­stan­tial re­turn on pri­or in­vest­ments.”

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