Monday, December 13, 2010

Confirmed: Merck (US) Loses Stefan Oschmann, Its Global Emerging Markets Head, To Geman Merck KGaA

Here is a bit of the Wall Street Journal's "on the record" confirmation -- do go read it all:

. . . .A report in Financial Times Deutschland on Sunday said that by leaving, Schnee is assuming responsibility for problems within Merck KGaA's pharma unit, most notably with cladribine. Merck declined to comment on the subject when contacted by Dow Jones Newswires.

Cladribine was set to be the first multiple sclerosis pill worldwide, but it has so far only been approved in Australia and Russia. The treatment still waits a decision on an application for market approval in the U.S, where the Food and Drug Administration recently extended its review of cladribine.

"The management change is certainly a reaction to the disappointments with Erbitux and cladribine," said analyst Martin Vogtli of Kepler Capital Markets, adding: "The company's [early] phase I pipeline is very thin currently."

Vogtli, who has a buy rating on Merck KGaA, said that Stefan Oschmann's appointment indicates "the company is also pursuing its strategy of internationalizing its pharma unit". . . .

This leaves "our" New Merck with a gaping top-level management hole. Hopefully it won't be filled by this gent -- he seems a bit green around the gills.

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