Merck KGaA is still crawling through a broad restructuring effort, but the German drugmaker said it's keeping an eye out for major deals that could help it piece together a promising pipeline after years of setbacks.
Once again, Merck KGaA reported a quicker-than-expected payoff from its big cost-cutting program. The German drugmaker hiked its profit forecast for the year, saying the changes it has made are delivering cost savings sooner than it had planned.
The redesigned buildings on Merck KGaA's campus feature the sort of flexible work stations and open-office arrangements recently adopted by GlaxoSmithKline in Philadelphia and Biogen Idec in Cambridge, MA.
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Merck KGaA R&D subsidiary Merck Serono will provide $35 million over four years to fund a dedicated unit that will apply the Belgian biotech's "Nanobody" approach to all of Merck's core disease areas, including oncology, immuno-oncology, immunology and neurology. The unit will work on new programs through in vivo proof of principle.
Merck KGaA is rejigging its pharmaceuticals management, promoting pharma chief Stefan Oschmann to a new job overseeing prescription and consumer drugs, biosimilars and allergy fighters, previously segregated under separate management.
Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and Asceneuron, a spinoff of Merck Serono, have discovered a key targeting mechanism to fight the buildup of amyloid plaque in the brain thought to cause early-onset Alzheimer's, and to do so with minimal side effects.
Life Technologies brings newly acquired biomarker expertise to its companion diagnostics collaboration deal with Merck Serono, putting into play technology it snatched up last October.
Life Technologies and Merck Serono plan to work together on companion diagnostics, beginning with a buddy diagnostic for a cancer drug.
Life Technologies is linking with Merck Serono to develop companion diagnostics for cancer and other diseases, a calculated advance for the company as it waits to be snatched up by Thermo Fisher in a $13.6 billion deal.