Ending 20-year partnership, Sanofi and Merck close down joint vaccines venture
- Sanofi and Merck on Tuesday announced they will end their joint vaccines partnership in Europe, known as Sanofi Pasteur MSD. Both companies expect to reintegrate their share of the partnership back into their existing operations.
- First established in 1994, the partnership supplied nearly 50% of Europe's flu vaccines last year, according to Bloomberg.
- Sanofi recently launched the world's first dengue vaccine and is hard at work developing one for Zika. Merck, on the other hand, is pursuing a commercial vaccine for Ebola.
Sanofi Pasteur MSD has seen weaker sales recently. The partnership pulled in $910 million in revenue last year, a decline of nearly 3% from a year earlier.
Independently, however, both Sanofi and Merck's vaccines businesses have done well of late. Fourth quarter revenue for Sanofi Pasteur climbed 15% to nearly $1.6 billion, while Merck's HPV vaccine Gardasil alone brought in $1.9 billion in 2015.
Even with 20 years of history, the companies apparently saw greater opportunity working independently to expand their vaccines business.
"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.
The dissolution of the partnership is expected to close by year-end 2016, pending regulatory approval.
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