Merck makes deal worth at least $600M with Santen

SHARE Merck makes deal worth at least $600M with Santen

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. (AP) — Merck & Co. will receive at least $600 million in a deal with Japanese drugmaker Santen Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. for the purchase of Merck eye care products in several markets.

The Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, drugmaker said Tuesday the deal was another step in its push to sharpen its commercial focus. Merck also recently announced that it had agreed to sell its consumer health business to Germany’s Bayer AG for $14.2 billion. That includes Claritin allergy pills, Coppertone sun-care line, and Dr. Scholl’s foot-care products.

In the latest deal, Merck signed an agreement for Santen to purchase Merck ophthalmology products like Cosopt and Timoptic in Japan and several markets in Europe and Asia. Santen will make an upfront payment of about $600 million and more payments based on sales milestones. The products involved in the deal generate about $400 million in annual revenue.

Santen also will buy from Merck ophthalmology products covered in the deal for two to five years.

Merck, which has divested its U.S. ophthalmology business, will still sell those products in Latin America, Canada, Australia and other markets.

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