Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Merck's MSD Sub Grants Co-Distribution Rights To Vytorin® And Zetia® In Spain -- To Rovi, S.A.

My reaction: "Gee -- that's a very small partner for $44 billion New Merck to take on, voluntarily. . . ."

You see, at today's euro/dollar spot rate, Laboratorios Farmacéuticos Rovi, S.A., a publicly-traded (Madrid) Spanish pharma company is set to show annual revenues of about $205 million. It announced this morning that it will co-market Vytorin® and Zetia® in Spain for a 10 year period beginning at the end of the month -- PDF of the as-translated presser:

. . . .Laboratorios Farmacéuticos Rovi, S.A. (ROVI) announced today that it will soon be marketing Vytorin® and Absorcol® in Spain, the first of the five marketing licenses for its products that Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) awarded to ROVI as part of the strategic marketing and manufacturing agreement. . . .

Vytorin and Absorcol will be marketed in Spain from January 2011 in a comarketing regime with Ezetrol® and Inegy® respectively, for a period of 10 years. Although they are two different products, ROVI and MSD have agreed to consider them as one product in terms of the marketing rights granted to ROVI by MSD. . . .

Fascinating. Why would MSD have signed that deal? Was it an antitrust-required consent deal, then due (mid-2009) to the combining companies' (legacy Merck and legacy Schering-Plough) burgeoning market share -- in Spain -- in cholesterol management drugs, according to the ECC? We will now try to scope that out. In any event, there are to be four more such licenses granted from Merck and its subsidiaries, under the 2009 agreement the companies signed.

We'll keep you posted -- but here is the full PDF file of the ECC consent for the 2009 bust-up.

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