The 50/50 joint venture, Sanofi Pasteur MSD, was created in 1994 to develop and commercialize vaccines originating from both companies’ pipelines within 19 European countries. Outside the United States and Canada, Merck is known as MSD.
Headquartered in Lyon France, the collaborative effort combined the research and manufacturing capabilities of both companies to form a smaller organization dedicated to a single region.
“After carefully considering our individual strategic priorities, alongside the economic and regulatory environments for vaccine operations in the European Union, we have mutually agreed that it is in our best interests to manage our vaccine product portfolios independently,” the companies said in a joint statement. “We believe that focusing our efforts on opportunities unique to our respective companies will better position us to drive growth, execute in a more efficient manner and optimize vaccine coverage.”
The combined company reported 2015 sales at €824 million ($910 million), off roughly 3 percent from the previous year.
Merck worldwide operates in more than 140 countries offering prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, is entirely dedicated to vaccines, providing more than 1 billion doses each year around the world.
During the past 20 years, Sanofi Pasteur MSD has launched and/or provided numerous vaccines throughout Europe to protect against a range of diseases, including:
- Gardasil (Human Papillomavirus diseases)
- Avaxim and VAQTA (Hepatitis A)
- HBVAXPRO (Hepatitis B)
- Zostavax (Shingles)
- Varivax (Chicken Pox)
- Imovax and Verorab (Rabies)
- Imovax Polio (Poliomyelitis)
- Intanza, Vaxigrip and Vaxigrip/Mutagrip (Influenza)
- M-M-RVAXPRO (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
- Typhim VI (Typhoid Fever)
- Stamaril (Yellow Fever)
- Pneumo 23 and Pneumovax (Pneumococcal diseases)
- Covaxis/Triaxis, Pediacel, Pentavac, Repevax, Revaxis, and Tetravac (Diptheria and other diseases)
- Rotateq (Rotavirus Gastroenteritis)
Not all of the vaccines are available in each of the 19 EU countries served, according to the company, with some available under different trade names.
More than 100 positions in France may be affected, according to reports. The companies said that any impact on employees as a result of the proposed changes “will be managed responsibly” and assured customers and business partners of a “smooth and orderly transition.”
Completion of the split is expected by the end of 2016, subject to local labor laws, regulations, and regulatory approvals.
(Sources: Sanofi Pasteur MSD, Associated Press, Businesswire)
Lead image photo credit: United States Army.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery