Healthcare Industry News:  psoriasis 

Biopharmaceuticals Distribution

 News Release - June 10, 2008

Merck Serono Strengthens its Prescription Medicines Portfolio in Latin America

Merck Serono to Commercialize Portfolio of Established Pharmaceutical
Medicines From Bristol-Myers Squibb in Latin America

GENEVA, Switzerland, June 10 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Merck Serono (NYSE: SRA ), a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, announced today the signing of a distribution agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY ) for a portfolio of established pharmaceutical brands in Latin America. Under the terms of this agreement, Merck Serono acquires the exclusive rights to market, sell and distribute more than 30 prescription medicines, in particular in the CardioMetabolic Care therapeutic area, in seven Latin American countries. Sales of Bristol-Myers Squibb for this medicines portfolio exceeded US-$ 90 million in 2007. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

"This distribution agreement is a perfect strategic fit with our prescription drug business in Latin America, further enhancing our market position," said Franck Latrille, Executive Vice President Commercial International at Merck Serono. "The established medicine brands of Bristol-Myers Squibb will complement our already strong portfolio, especially in cardiovascular diseases and in the field of primary care, so that we can offer added value to physicians and patients."

"We are very pleased to have found such a well-respected partner to distribute our portfolio of established brands in Latin America," said Dieter Weinand, President, Latin America/Canada, Bristol-Myers Squibb. "This agreement allows us to further focus on becoming a next-generation BioPharma leader while ensuring patients continue to have access to important medicines."

The duration of the agreement is limited to an initial period of three years, with the possibility of further extension upon mutual agreement. The seven countries in Latin America covered by this in-licensing agreement are Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela. The portfolio includes renowned brands such as Pravachol® (pravastatin) for the treatment of elevated cholesterol levels and Monopril®, an ACE-inhibitor used in the field of hypertension. While Merck Serono will be the exclusive distributor, Bristol-Myers Squibb will remain responsible for manufacturing of the medicines.

Merck KGaA is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Latin America, with total sales of EUR 569 million in this region in 2007 and a dedicated staff of more than 1,000 sales representatives. In addition to its innovations focused on specialists in Oncology, Neurodegenerative Diseases and Fertility, it offers a strong portfolio of established brands in Primary Care such as the Neurobion® family of products, and in CardioMetabolic Care including renowned prescription drug brands like the Glucophage® family for the treatment of type-2 diabetes, the Concor® family of betablockers to treat cardiovascular diseases and Euthyrox® for treating thyroid disorders.

About Merck Serono

Merck Serono is the division for innovative prescription pharmaceuticals of Merck, a global pharmaceutical and chemical group. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, Merck Serono discovers, develops, manufactures and markets innovative small molecules and biopharmaceuticals to help patients with unmet medical needs. Its North American business operates in the United States and Canada as EMD Serono.

Merck Serono has leading brands serving patients with cancer (Erbitux®), multiple sclerosis (Rebif®), infertility (Gonal-f®), endocrine and cardiometabolic disorders (Glucophage®, Concor®, Saizen®, Serostim®), as well as psoriasis (Raptiva®).

With an annual R&D investment of around EUR 1 billion, Merck Serono is committed to growing its business in specialist-focused therapeutic areas including neurodegenerative diseases, oncology, fertility and endocrinology, as well as new areas potentially arising out of research and development in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

About Merck

Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with total revenues of EUR 7.1 billion in 2007, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by 31,681 employees in 60 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds an approximately 70% interest and free shareholders own the remaining approximately 30%. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.

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Source: Merck Serono

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