Bayer will acquire the consumer care business of Merck & Co., for $14.2 billion. This acquisition will make Bayer the second largest global supplier of non-prescription, OTC products, which will include Merck brands such as Claritin, Coppertone, and Dr. Scholl’s.
In a related transaction, Bayer has entered into a global co-development and co-commercialization agreement with Merck & Co., in the field of soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) modulators, for which Merck & Co., will make an up-front payment to Bayer of $1 billion, with substantial additional sales milestone payments. The collaboration includes Adempas (Riociguat), which is already approved for the treatment of certain classifications of pulmonary hypertension and is being developed in additional life cycle indications, as well as vericiguat, an investigational compound that is currently being developed in two Phase IIb studies in worsening chronic heart failure.
Bayer and Merck & Co., will equally share costs and profits from the sGC modulators and implement a joint development and commercialization strategy. Bayer will lead the commercialization for Adempas in the Americas while Merck & Co., will lead the commercialization outside the Americas. For vericiguat and other potential investigational sGC modulators, Bayer will lead the commercialization outside the Americas while Merck & Co., will lead the commercialization in the Americas. Both companies will have the option to co-promote Adempas.
Merck & Co., will make payments to Bayer of up to $2.1 billion, comprising an up-front payment of $1 billion and sales milestone payments of up to $1.1 billion related to future collective sales of certain collaboration compounds including Adempas.