The deal announced this morning will see Eurofins Scientific take over the contract development and discovery unit of Merck (known as EMD in North America), under a new division known as Eurofins Pharma BioAnalytical Services.
Merck spokesman David Elliott spoke to Outsourcing-Pharma.com about the sale and, although financial details have not been disclosed, he did confirm it was based on the strategic fit in the portfolios of Merck Millipore and Eurofins.
“The DDS business has demonstrated a potential for success that Merck Millipore is not in a position to fully support,” he told us. “We believe that the potential of DDS can be better realized by a company with a strong Pharma Service focus.”
The outsourcing business generates approximately $35m (€26m) and provides a service to pharma companies to advance their drug pipeline across all phases of development. According to Eurofins CEO Dr. Gilles Martin, the acquisition expands the CRO’s large molecules bioanalytical service capability to meet the growing needs of its clients.
As part of the deal, manufacturing operations at two facilities in the UK - in Dundee, Scotland and Oxford, England - will be transferred to Eurofins, whilst the company will also take responsibility for a facility in St. Charles, Missouri/USA which, Elliott said, would be leased from Merck who will continue to own it.
The current management team, led by Christina Shasserre, will remain in place and according to Elliott, the 175 staff employed “dedicated to the DDS business will transfer to Eurofins. Eurofins will offer employment to the affected employees.”
Last February Eurofins acquired genomics firm AROS Applied Biotechnology, and in 2011 the France-headquartered firm bought a 67% stake in two Fondation Institut Pasteur de Lille subsidiaries.