Aspen, Merck & Co in $1bn drug portfolio deal

Africa’s largest generics drugmaker, Aspen Pharmacare, has announced it is to acquire drugs and a manufacturing plant from US pharma company, Merck & Co in a $1 billion deal.

The deal includes an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) business, currently located in the Netherlands, and a portfolio of 11 drug brands from Merck & Co. The portfolio includes therapeutic treatments such as hormone replacement therapy, oral contraception, anti-coagulant and vitamin B.

“The active pharmaceutical ingredients are hard to source or replicate, and this allows us strong pipelines. With the products bought, this should help accelerate our growth in emerging markets, especially Latin America and Asia Pacific.”

Aspen Chief Executive Officer Stephen Saad said, according to Bloomberg.

If approved, this acquisition is set to boost Aspen’s presence in Europe, Latin America and Asia. Merck & Co will continue to buy APIs from Aspen under a 1-year supply contract, which Aspen’s CEO believes will be “the start of a broader strategic relationship”.

Last week, the African drugmaker said it was going to acquire the license to commercialise thrombosis drugs, Arixtra and Fraxiparine / Fraxodi brands from GlaxoSmithKline, except in China, Pakistan and India. This deal could also be worth up to $1 billion.


Related news:

South Africa’s Aspen in $1 billion deal with Merck (Reuters)

Aspen Buys Merck Manufacturing Unit in Emerging Market Drive (Bloomberg)


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