Merck Transfers Biosimilars and Other Products to Spinoff Company

Last week, Merck announced its intention to spin-off products from its Women’s Health, legacy brands, and biosimilars businesses into a new, yet-to-be-named, independent, publicly traded company.  According to Merck, “NewCo will pursue global leadership and focused, sustainable growth in Women’s Health led by the growing and patent-protected NEXPLANON (etonogestrel implant) franchise and fueled by its leading contraceptive and fertility businesses.”  Merck also states that “NewCo expects to establish a leading position in Biosimilars along with its partner, Samsung Bioepis Co., Ltd., focusing on its current portfolio including RENFLEXIS (infliximab-abda) and BRENZYS (etanercept) in immunology and ONTRUZANT (trastuzumab-dttb) in oncology, and is well-positioned to be a partner in the commercialization of biosimilars worldwide.”  Kevin Ali, who will be named chief executive officer of NewCo, stated that “[w]e are committed to becoming a leader in Women’s Health driven by organic and inorganic opportunities fueled by our portfolio of trusted legacy brands and our commitment to growing our rapidly expanding biosimilars business.”  According to the press release, Merck intends to complete the spin-off transaction in the first half of 2021.