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Patricia Van Arnum was executive editor of Pharmaceutical Technology
Merck Sells Contract Biopharmaceutical Business to Fujifilm
Fujifilm and Merck & Co. have formed a definitive agreement by which Fujifilm will acquire the Merck BioManufacturing Network, a contract biopharmaceutical manufacturing and development business of Merck.
Under the agreement, Fujifilm will purchase all of the equity interests in two Merck subsidiaries, Diosynth RTP and MSD Biologics (UK), which together own all assets of the Merck BioManufacturing Network. The network consists of facilities of Diosynth in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and MSD Biologics (UK) in Billingham, United Kingdom, as well as the related manufacturing contracts, business-support operations, and workforce. The former Merck business provides CGMP contract-manufacturing services for recombinant proteins, vaccines, and monoclonal antibodies. As part of the agreement, Merck has committed to certain continued development and manufacturing activities with these two companies. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.
"Fujifilm continues to build upon its ongoing commitment to delivering pharmaceutical business," said Shigetaka Komori, president and CEO of Fujifilm, in a Feb. 28, 2011, Merck press release. "This acquisition provides an important addition to our pharmaceutical business with diverse capabilities and technical expertise in production of protein therapeutics."
Merck had built its contract biopharmaceutical business through acquisitions. In late 2009, Merck acquired the Billingham site from the contract-manufacturing organization Avecia. Diosynth was part of Akzo Nobel, and in 2007, Schering-Plough acquired the human and animal-health business of Akzo Nobel. Merck acquired Schering-Plough in 2009.