MAY 13, 2014
In an agreement pending regulatory approval, Santen Pharmaceutical will purchase Merck’s ophthalmology products in Japan and key markets in Europe and Asia-Pacific.
For an initial payment of about $600 million and subsequent payments based on sales benchmarks, Santen will obtain several ophthalmology products including: Cosopt, Trusopt, Timoptic, Saflutan, and Taptiqom, representing about $400 million in sales annually. The agreement is subject to closing conditions, including antitrust clearance in Japan.
“The decision to divest our ophthalmics business is part of our ongoing strategy to sharpen our commercial focus and improve our operational effectiveness,” said Jay Galeota, Merck president for Hospital and Specialty Care. “This transaction provides products that complement Santen’s portfolio and is designed to ensure continued access for physicians and patients to these medicines around the world.”
Merck divested its U.S. ophthalmology business to Akorn Pharmaceuticals last year. It continues to sell ophthalmology products in Latin America, Canada, Australia, the Middle East, Africa and other markets.