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Updated: Dec 16, 2019

In every issue we look back over the previous 3 months and highlight the top M&As and appointments in the pharmaceutical industry.

LEO Pharma Closes Bayer Deal

With LEO’s aim being to hold a leading position in dermatology, acquiring Bayer’s prescription dermatology business seems a smart move. The deal for the US closed in early September and for all other markets is set to do so during the second half of 2019. Although the exact financial details were not disclosed, LEO will be amassing a range of prescription dermatology products with a turnover of more than $325 million in 2017. “Completing this acquisition enables LEO Pharma US to significantly broaden its therapeutic areas and skilled workforce, ultimately providing more treatment options for dermatology patients across the country”, comments Chris Posner, President and CEO, LEO Pharma US.

P&G Buy Merck’s Consumer Health Unit

The recent revamp of Merck’s Consumer Health Unit saw sales significantly increase by an average of 7% over the past 4 years Atilla Cansun, Chief Marketing Officer, Merck Consumer Health Unit, tells GOLD. It’s no wonder therefore that the brand attracted P&G, who swooped in to buy the unit for $3.9 billion, with the transaction recently cleared by EU regulators. Merck’s consumer brands such as Neurobion and Femibion will be joining the likes of Pampers nappies and Gillette razors to increase P&G’s portfolio of consumer healthcare products, increasing the company’s exposure to the South American and Asian markets.

Novo Nordisk Acquire University Spin-Out

Novo Nordisk have bought all the shares of Ziylo, a Bristol University spin-out company, in a deal worth a potential $800 million. The acquisition gives the Danish diabetes giants full rights to Ziylo’s glucose binding molecule platform and aids Novo in their goal of developing glucose responsive insulin; these ‘smart’ insulins could eliminate the risk of hypoglycaemia among patients. “Novo Nordisk is the ideal company to maximise the potential of the Ziylo glucose binding molecules in glucose-responsive insulins and diabetes applications, and it brings hope of a truly ground-breaking treatment to diabetes patients”, says Harry Destecroix, CEO and co-founder, Ziylo.

ABPI appoints Erik Nordkamp

As of 1st August, Erik Nordkamp became the next President of the ABPI. The Managing Director of Pfizer UK succeeds Lisa Anson from AstraZeneca. Nordkamp starts at a challenging time, with the future of the British pharma industry unknown as Britain continues to negotiate its withdrawal from the EU. With regard to the UK and NHS, Nordkamp comments: “By being involved at the earliest possible stage in strategic planning, we can work with the NHS and government to make sure that UK patients receive world-class care at the cutting edge of what is possible today and in the future.”

Maria Rivas is Hired by Merck

Maria Rivas swapped one Merck for another, as she moved to Merck KGaA, EMD Serono in July. She enters into the position of Senior Vice-President, Global Medical Affairs. Her new role at Merck will have her overseeing the co-ordinated integration of R&D and commercial. She also joins the company at an exciting time, with Merck having several new products in the late pipeline, which are shortly set to launch onto the market.

BMS appoint Christopher Boerner

Christopher Boerner was appointed to Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer and is set to lead the company’s commercial strategy across all geographies, as well as joining the BMS Leadership Team, succeeding Murdo Gordon. As he was previously the Head of International Markets at BMS, Boerner brings a wealth of knowledge of speciality care markets to the role. “I’m very excited to lead such a talented and diverse commercial team globally”, said Boerner. “Along with my commercial colleagues, I look forward to continuing to help BMS deliver on our mission of bringing transformational medicines to patients.”

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