Merck commercialise 2 produits de son portefeuille de R&D afin de financer le démarrage de d'entreprises financées par capital-risque et reçoit en échange le droit de participer au capital propre de ces sociétés et de percevoir des royalties
Presse pharmaceutique / Presse économique
DARMSTADT, Allemagne, & DANA POINT, Californie -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- June 15, 2005 -- Le Directeur du laboratoire pharmaceutique allemand Merck KGaA, Bernhard Scheuble, a annoncé ce jour à l'occasion de la Conférence internationale annuelle sur les soins de santé dans le monde de Goldman Sachs que les indicateurs clés de rentabilité de la société avaient enregistré une telle progression que les objectifs de rentabilité commerciale (ROS, Return On Sales) et de rendement du capital investi (ROCE, Return On Capital Employed) avaient été révisés à la hausse et respectivement fixés à 20% et 25%.
Merck KGaA: Mid-Term Outlook Prompts Rise in Financial Goals; Mid-Term ROS and ROCE Targets Raised to 20% and 25%, Respectively; Merck Trades 2 Pipeline Products to Start-up Firms for Equity Stakes, Royalties
Pharmaceutical Writers/Business Editors
DARMSTADT, Germany & DANA POINT, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 15, 2005- - Merck KGaA Chairman Bernhard Scheuble announced today at the Goldman Sachs Annual Global Healthcare Conference that the company's key profitability indicators have improved to such an extent that mid-term goals for ROS (Return on Sales) and ROCE (Return on Capital Employed) have been raised to 20% and 25%, respectively.
Merck's previous financial targets, established in 2001, were 15% for both ROS and ROCE. At that time, these indicators were 11.9% for ROS and 12.8% for ROCE. By the first quarter of 2005, Merck's ROCE far surpassed the goal with 18.4% while the ROS came near to it at 14.3%.
"As you can see, Merck is doing very well," Scheuble told investors at the Dana Point, California, conference. "It's time to raise the bar."
Scheuble also revealed that through a new innovative program to exploit the company's intellectual properties, two promising pharmaceutical projects sitting on the shelf in Merck's laboratories have been traded to start-up firms financed with venture capital. In return, Merck received equity stakes and potential future royalties.
"This new program unlocks the value of potentially important, but undeveloped, projects sitting in our laboratories - Rembrandts in the attic, so to say," Scheuble said. "Today, I can tell you about two such deals we have made so far."
Several Factors Lead to Increasing of Goals
Merck's profitability indicators have improved in recent years as the company focuses on its core businesses of innovative and profidiv pharmaceuticals and chemicals such as the cancer treatment Erbitux(R) and liquid crystals used in flat-screen computer monitors and televisions.
As part of this focus on innovative products with high-margin potential, Merck divested its laboratory distribution business, VWR International, last year and its Electronics Chemicals business this year. These divestments substantially improved Merck's profitability as both businesses, especially VWR, have high sales volumes but relatively low profit margins.
In addition, recent changes in the International Accounting Standards (IAS) were advantageous to Merck's financial indicators. Slight changes in the IAS definitions of some items in the balance sheet resulted in improved balance sheet-related key indicators such as ROCE and gearing. Also in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and the revised IAS rules, goodwill is no longer written down by regular amortization but is subject to an annual impairment test.
Innovative VINCIP Program Unlocks Value of Undeveloped Projects
Merck's new VINCIP (Virtual INCubator for Intellectual Property) program seeks out external partners and creative sources of financing for the development of intellectual properties that no longer fit into Merck's focus of developing treatments for cancer and cardio-metabolic illnesses. Out-licensing intellectual properties to start-up drug companies complements Merck's policy of "Intelligent Alliances," which normally involves in-licensing promising products from small companies.
A contract was signed this week that places Asimadoline, a proprietary new medicine that Merck developed for irridiv bowel syndrome (IBS), with a new company named Tioga Pharmaceuticals. Tioga will initially be funded by Forward Ventures, a San Diego-based venture-capital firm with approximately $500 million in capital under management. Forward will be forming a syndicate to raise additional funds to conduct Phase IIb efficacy trials. Merck will receive an equity stake in Tioga and royalties on sales of Asimadoline
Encouraging clinical data are available from a Phase IIa study suggesting that Asimadoline may be an effective treatment for the pain associated with IBS. Merck has decided the best way to continue development of this promising drug is via its new entrepreneurial strategy involving venture capital rather than using a more conventional type of licensing deal with Big Pharma.
In a similar VINCIP project, a potential ophthalmology product moved from Merck's lab in 2003 to a La Jolla, CA., start-up named Angiosyn Inc., which was funded by the venture capital firm Alta Partners. Merck also took an equity stake in this new company. In February 2005, Pfizer Inc. bought 100 percent of Angiosyn, including Merck's stake, for a total of $527 million.
Besides the buyout payment from Pfizer, Merck will receive royalties on future sales of this novel therapeutic for controlling angiogenesis, or uncontrolled blood vessel formation that can cause blinding diseases such as macular degeneration.
The four employees who developed the VINCIP program won this year's Merck Innovation Award. Scheuble presented the winners a EUR 12,500 prize on May 31.
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Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with sales of EUR 5.9 billion in 2004, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by 28,500 employees in 52 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds a 73% interest and free shareholders own the remaining 27%. The former U.S. subsidiary, Merck & Co., has been completely independent of the Merck Group since 1917.
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