Fresenius Kabi to acquire Akorn and Merck KGaA’s biosimilars business Posted 28/04/2017

Fresenius Kabi, the generics unit of German healthcare giant Fresenius, announced on 24 April 2017 that it had made two deals ‘to strengthen and diversify’ its business.

The US-based generics maker has agreed to acquire Akorn, a US-based sterile injectables maker, for approximately US$4.3 billion, or US$34.00 a share, assuming US$450 million in debt.

Akorn’s products include injectables, topical creams, ointments and gels, sterile ophthalmics, as well as oral liquids, otic solutions (for the ear), nasal sprays and respiratory drugs. In fact, the company is the third-largest company in the US market for generic ophthalmic drugs [1]. It also has a pipeline that includes approximately 85 abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) filed and pending with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and many more in development.

Fresenius Kabi has also agreed to acquire Germany-based Merck KGaA’s (Merck Group) biosimilars business for Euros 170 million, along with milestone payments of up to Euros 500 million plus royalties on future product sales. The deal includes Merck KGaA’s entire development pipeline, which has a focus on oncology and autoimmune diseases with current brand-name sales of around US$30 billion.

Merck KGaA already has a phase III trial ongoing for its adalimumab biosimilar (MSB11022), which is expected to be completed in September 2017 [2]. Fresenius Kabi expects to launch its first biosimlar at the end of 2019 and is expecting triple-digit sales from 2023 onwards.

The Merck KGaA deal is expected to be completed in the second half of 2017, while the Akorn deal is expected to be finalized by early 2018.

Related article
Merck KGaA to sell off biosimilars business

References
1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Akorn to buy Hi-Tech Pharmacal for US$640 million [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2017 Apr 28]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Pharma-News/Akorn-to-buy-Hi-Tech-Pharmacal-for-US-640-million
2. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Merck Group starts phase III trial for adalimumab biosimilar [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2017 Apr 28]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Biosimilars/News/Merck-Group-starts-phase-III-trial-for-adalimumab-biosimilar

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Source: Akorn, Fresenius Kabi, Merck KGaA

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