Merck & Co., Inc., and Sun Pharma Establish Joint Venture to Develop and Commercialize Novel Formulations and Combinations of Medicines in Emerging Markets

Joint Venture to Apply Proprietary Technologies to Develop Medicines Designed to Enhance Convenience and Improve Compliance

Category:

Monday, April 11, 2011 8:01 am EDT

Dateline:

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. & MUMBAI, India

Public Company Information:

NYSE:
MRK
"By combining forces with Sun Pharma, we are complementing our innovative product portfolio with a solid foundation for addressing the diverse needs of patients, physicians and governments across the Emerging Markets."

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. & MUMBAI, India--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Merck & Co., Inc., (NYSE:MRK), a global health care leader, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., (“Sun Pharma”) a leading Indian multinational pharmaceutical company, today announced the creation of a joint venture to develop, manufacture and commercialize new combinations and formulations of innovative, branded generics in the Emerging Markets.

"Merck's Emerging Markets strategy is driven by our overarching focus on applying innovation across our business from introducing novel compounds to broadening our focus on innovative branded generics," said Kevin Ali, president, Emerging Markets, Merck/MSD. "By combining forces with Sun Pharma, we are complementing our innovative product portfolio with a solid foundation for addressing the diverse needs of patients, physicians and governments across the Emerging Markets."

The partnership combines Sun Pharma's proven track record of leadership and expertise in rapid, innovative product development using Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company Ltd's ("SPARC") proprietary platform technologies, and Sun Pharma’s world-class manufacturing network with Merck's clinical development and registration expertise and a broad, geographic commercial footprint. The companies said that they will focus on 'innovative branded generics,' that bring together combinations of medicines using platform delivery technologies designed to enhance convenience for patients in Emerging Markets. The joint venture will be structured through Merck and Sun Pharma's respective subsidiaries. Financial details of the joint venture were not disclosed.

“This joint venture reinforces our strategy of partnering to launch products using our highly innovative delivery technologies around the world," said Dilip S. Shanghvi, chairman and managing director, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. "Merck has an unrivalled reputation as a world leading, innovative, research-driven pharmaceutical company. We’re proud to be associated with them and look forward to working together."

Experts estimate that during the coming decade, the Emerging Markets are expected to drive 90 percent of the world's pharmaceutical growth, with 75 percent of that growth coming from branded generics. In these markets, the growing burden of chronic disease, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hepatitis, along with an increasing population and economic prosperity, is leading to an increased demand for branded generics.

"Merck has a proud legacy of developing innovative medicines and vaccines with proven ability to impact global human health," said Ali. "We are making good progress executing on our Emerging Markets growth strategy by establishing novel partnerships and strategic alliances. This joint venture helps position us for leadership in the fastest growing geographies."

The collaboration between MSD and Sun Pharma will be managed by a Joint Board and leadership team, consisting of members of senior management from both companies.

About Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

Established in 1983, listed since 1994 and headquartered in India, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Reuters: SUN.BO, Bloomberg: SUNP IN, NSE: SUNPHARMA, BSE: 524715) is an international, integrated, specialty pharmaceutical company. The company manufactures and markets a large number of pharmaceutical formulations as branded and incrementally innovative generics in India, the United States and across several Emerging Markets. In India, it is the leader across the psychiatry, neurology, cardiology, diabetology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology and orthopedic therapy areas. Additionally, the company possesses strong skills in product development, process chemistry, and the manufacturing of complex active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) as well as dosage formulations. More information can be found at www.sunpharma.com.

About Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company Ltd

SPARC Ltd. is a listed, independent R&D company that discovers and develops new molecules and novel drug delivery systems, with a 220+-strong team of scientists and four R&D centers.

SPARC’s delivery system projects focus on developing platform technologies that enhance patient convenience or compliance, such as oral (gastro retentive innovative device, wrap matrix technology), injectables (nanoparticulate formulations, biodegradable depots), dry powder inhalers, ophthalmic technologies (swollen micelle and gel free reservoir). Some products based on these technologies are marketed in India.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com.

Forward-Looking Statement

This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements may include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the merger between Merck and Schering-Plough, including future financial and operating results, the combined company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical facts. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the possibility that the expected synergies from the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and healthcare legislation; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; disruption from the merger making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; Merck’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck’s patents and other protections for innovative products; the risk of new and changing regulation and health policies in the United States and internationally and the exposure to litigation and/or regulatory actions.

Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Merck’s 2010 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (www.sec.gov).

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Contact:

Merck & Co., Inc.
Media:
Ian R. McConnell, 908-423-3046
or Gail S. Thornton, 908-423-3012
or Jyotsna Ghoshal, +91 98 1019 4171
or
Investors:
Joe Romanelli, 908-423-5088
or Carol Ferguson, 908-423-4465
or
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
Media and Investors:
Uday Baldota, + 91 98 6701 0529
or Mira Desai, + 91 98219 23797

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