Sanofi and MSD End Vaccines JV
Sanofi Pasteur, the global vaccines business unit of French drugmaker Sanofi, and Merck, Sharp and Dohme, international arm of US drugmaker Merck. have ended their vaccine joint venture Sanofi Pasteur MSD (SPMSD) as planned on Jan. 1.
In future, the two players will pursue their own vaccine strategies separately, it each reintegrating its vaccine business into its own respective European operations.
Plans to disband the joint venture were announced in March of last year. Since then, the two companies said untangling of the mutual ties “has been managed in an open dialogue with the SPMSD employees, unions and relevant external stakeholders, in compliance with the applicable rules and regulations.”
In the interim, Sanofi and MSD said they have “focused on a smooth and orderly transition while achieving their public healthcare goals and upholding their commitments to their employees, customers and business partners.” Some 100 jobs at the joint venture’s headquarters in Lyon, France were affected by the split; however, details of possible redundancies were not disclosed.
The vaccines venture created in 1994 to combine the partners’ R&D and manufacturing capabilities and develop and commercialize vaccines from the respective pipelines in 19 European countries reported 2015 sales of €824 million.
During its 20-year lifespan, the jv launched or provided vaccines to protect against a range of diseases, including human papillomavirus disease, hepatitis A and B, herpes zoster, rabies, polio, typhoid fever and pneumococcal diseases.