Fujifilm Holdings Corp. agreed to buy Merck & Co.’s BioManufacturing Network for making supplies used in clinical studies of biological drugs, a Merck spokesman said in an interview.
The network Fujifilm is acquiring is made up of Merck subsidiaries Diosynth RTP LLC in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and MSD Biologics (U.K.) Ltd. in Billingham, England, Ian McConnell, a spokesman for Whitehouse Station, New Jersey- based Merck, said in a telephone interview Sunday. Toshihiro Matsumoto, a spokesman for Fujifilm, declined to comment.
McConnell declined to give a price for the transaction. Tokyo-based Fujifilm will pay 40 billion yen ($490 million) for the units, Nikkei English News said in a report earlier Sunday, without saying where it got the information.
Fujifilm, the maker of digital cameras and equipment for medical scans, is expanding into drug development with experimental medicines and a joint venture announced last year to create generic biotechnology drugs, known as biosimilars. The units, which Merck obtained through acquisitions, include manufacturing facilities for products used in vaccines and drugs based on human proteins.
Merck’s “commitment to developing biologics and biosimilar products remains unchanged,” McConnell said. The company’s “decision to sell the Merck BioManufacturing Network is part of its ongoing effort to focus on core competencies.”
Merck acquired Diosynth as part of its $49 billion purchase of Schering-Plough Corp. in November 2009, McConnell said. The company bought MSD Biologics the following month.