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- 04/25/2017

Fresenius Kabi acquires Akorn Inc. and Merck KGaA’s biosimilars business

Pharma Horizon

Illinois-based generic drugmaker Akorn Inc., has been acquired Fresenius Kabi, giving to the company a stronger foothold in the U.S., market.

The Europe’s biggest publicly traded health-care provider with this acquisition will have  access to a network of retail pharmacies and outpatient clinics as well as the hospitals. Furthermore Akorn will complement Fresenius’s Kabi medicines unit, which specializes in intravenous drugs. Including debt, the Akorn deal has an enterprise value of $4.75 billion.

Fresenius has also gained Merck KGaA’s portfolio of biosimilars: it agreed to pay Merck 170 million euros ($184.7 million), plus licensing fees and as much as 500 million euros in milestones.

Stephan Sturm, CEO of  Fresenius, is making a long-term bet on biosimilars and these two deals are going towards that direction:Akorn brings us additional U.S. market access to small- and mid-sized clinics and retail pharmacies,” he said. “And that access will be important for our biosimilars.”

Bad Homburg-based group last year spent more than $6 billion on the Spanish hospital group IDC Salud Holding SLU, known as Quironsalud. It was the company’s largest acquisition.

The pay back on the biosimilars business might take long, nethertheless Fresenius will invest probably as much as 1.4 billion euros in patient trials and other development costs in the business, even if  the unit it is expected to breaks even in 2022.

Merck KGaA is working on copies of complex biologic drugs for cancer and inflammatory diseases and had a treatment in late-stage tests for chronic plaque psoriasis that’s similar to AbbVie Inc.’s Humira, one of the world’s best-selling medicines.


Read further: Bloomberg

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