Santen Announces the Agreement to Purchase Merck’s Assets in Ophthalmology


OSAKA, Japan— Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., announced that it has entered into an agreement with Merck & Co, Inc. for Santen to purchase Merck's ophthalmology products in Japan, Europe, and Asia Pacific. The annual sales in these territories associated with these ophthalmic products are approximately $400 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, Santen will make an upfront payment of approximately $600 million and additional payments based on defined sales milestones as needed. Santen will also receive supply from Merck, the ophthalmology products within this agreement for a two- to five-year period. The agreement is subject to certain closing conditions, including obtaining antitrust clearance in Japan and other closing conditions related to specific markets or regions. Santen intends to fund the transaction with a combination of cash on hand and bank loans. The agreement is expected to close in a few months.

Akira Kurokawa, Santen president said, "Santen is proud to inherit and continue Merck's formidable legacy in ophthalmology. This transaction strengthens Santen's lineup of glaucoma products, significantly expands Santen's footprint in Japan, Asia and Europe, and is an important step in achieving its long term corporate vision to become ‘A Specialized Pharmaceutical Company with a Global Presence’ by 2020. We are pleased that by entering into this agreement, Santen can increase its presence in the global ophthalmology market, which consequently allow us to contribute even further to meet the medical needs of the patients suffering from various eye disease," he said.