Merck and Simcere Sign Agreement to Establish Pioneering China Joint Venture
July 21, 2011 5:00 pm ET
Partnership Focused on Providing Significantly Enhanced Access to Quality Medicines for Chinese Patients
Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, N.J., (NYSE:MRK), acting through
an affiliate and known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and
China’s Simcere Pharmaceutical Group (NYSE:SCR, Simcere) today announced
the signing of a framework agreement to establish a joint venture
focused on serving China’s rapidly expanding health care needs by
providing significantly improved access to quality medicines in major
The companies announced the partnership at a signing ceremony at Merck
Research Laboratories in Rahway, N.J. with Mr. Richard T. Clark, Merck
chairman, Mr. Adam Schechter, president, Merck Global Human Health, Mr.
Michel Vounatsos, president, MSD in China, Mr. Jinsheng Ren, chairman
and CEO of Simcere Pharmaceutical Group, and Dr. Yehong Zhang,
president, Simcere Pharmaceutical Group.
Mr. Zhijun Luo, secretary of China’s Jiangsu Provincial Committee,
presided over the signing ceremony.
This novel and innovative partnership will combine the extensive
resources and expertise of a global health care company and a leading
Chinese pharmaceutical company in support of Merck and Simcere’s goal of
building a strategic partnership with development, registration,
manufacturing and sales capabilities. The initial focus of the
partnership will be branded pharmaceutical products for cardiovascular
and metabolic diseases.
Specifically, in the area of cardiovascular disease, the partnership
will offer a combined portfolio of selected medicines from both
companies, including ZOCOR® (simvastatin), COZAAR® (losartan) and
RENITEC® (enalapril) by Merck/MSD, and XINTA (levamlodipine) and
SHUFUTAN (rosuvastatin) by Simcere. In the metabolic disease area, the
partnership will work to maximize access in China to sitagliptin, a
DPP-IV inhibitor for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes
is increasingly recognized as a significant public health threat in
“Merck is proud to partner with Simcere, one of China’s leading
pharmaceutical companies and an organization that shares Merck’s
commitment to enhancing health care in China,” said Mr. Schechter. “This
partnership is another step forward in Merck’s strategy to grow our
business in China and is fully aligned with the Chinese government’s
goal to increase access to quality products.”
“Today marks another key milestone in Simcere’s ongoing quest to better
the lives of our patients through innovative medicines,” said Mr. Ren.
“This innovative partnership seeks to address the enormous challenges of
the Chinese healthcare system and address the needs of Chinese patients
and health care stakeholders.”
“This partnership between Simcere and Merck is not only strategically
significant for both organizations, but also a landmark event for
Jiangsu’s biopharmaceutical industry,” said Mr. Luo. “Biopharmaceuticals
is an emerging industry of strategic importance for Jiangsu Province and
this partnership will bring additional momentum to the development of
this industry. It will help Jiangsu in providing more quality
pharmaceuticals to China and the world.”
The establishment of this joint venture is subject to satisfying certain
agreed to closing conditions.
About Simcere Pharmaceutical Group
Simcere Pharmaceutical Group (NYSE:SCR, Simcere) is a leading
pharmaceutical company specializing in development, manufacturing, and
marketing of branded generic and proprietary pharmaceuticals in China.
In recent years, Simcere has been focusing its strategy on the
development of innovative pharmaceuticals and first-to-market generics,
and has introduced an innovative anti-cancer medication Endu, a
first-to-market medication Sinofuan, and first-to-market generics such
as Bicun and Anxin. Simcere manufactures and sells anti-infective
medication, anti-cancer medication and stroke management medication.
Simcere concentrates its research and development efforts on the
treatment of diseases with high incidence and/or mortality rates and for
which there is a clear demand for more effective pharmacotherapy such as
cancer, strokes, orthopaedics and infectious diseases. For more
information about Simcere Pharmaceutical Group, please visit http://www.simcere.com.
About Merck & Co., Inc.
Today’s Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be
well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada.
Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and
consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and
operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health
solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to
healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For
more information, visit www.merck.com.
About MSD in China
MSD has more than 5,000 employees, 10 regions and 20 regional offices in
China. MSD also has three manufacturing plants in China which supply
innovative medicines and medical devices to both the local and export
markets. The facilities’ operations encompass production, packaging,
materials management, quality assurance, engineering services and
China is one of the most critical markets for Merck’s growth strategy.
Following the completion of the global merger between Merck and
Schering-Plough in 2009, Michel Vounatsos became the president of MSD in
China. MSD China reports directly to the Merck headquarter in the United
This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the
meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements may include,
but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the merger
between Merck and Schering-Plough, including future financial and
operating results, the combined company’s plans, objectives,
expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical
facts. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and
expectations of Merck’s management and are subject to significant risks
and uncertainties. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the
The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to
differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the
possibility that the expected synergies from the merger of Merck and
Schering-Plough will not be realized, or will not be realized within the
expected time period; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation
and healthcare legislation; the risk that the businesses will not be
integrated successfully; disruption from the merger making it more
difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; Merck’s
ability to accurately predict future market conditions; dependence on
the effectiveness of Merck’s patents and other protections for
innovative products; the risk of new and changing regulation and health
policies in the United States and internationally and the exposure to
litigation and/or regulatory actions.
Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking
statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or
otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ
materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be
found in Merck’s 2010 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other
filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at
the SEC’s Internet site (www.sec.gov).
ZOCOR® and COZAAR® are registered trademarks of Merck Sharp & Dohme
Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. RENITEC® is a
registered trademark of Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, N.J., USA.
All other brands are trademarks of their respective owners and are
not trademarks of Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, N.J., USA
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Merck & Co., Inc.
Ian R. McConnell, 908-423-3046
Gail S. Thornton, 908-423-3012
Jane Wu, (86 21) 2211 2494
Carol Ferguson, 908-423-4465
Simcere Pharmaceutical Group
Wang Yan’an, (86 25) 8556 6666 ext. 8721
Yehong Zhang, (86 25) 8556 6666 ext. 8811
Cindy Zheng, 212-333-3810