This week, Merck (or MSD in the rest of the world) announced a new joint venture with two of Brazil's biggest regional pharmas: Eurofarma and Cristalia (through its subsidiary Supera Farma Laboratorios S.A.).
The JV, which is 51% owned by Merck, will market and sell products from all three companies' portfolios, which include branded generics and original products. The JV will only be active in Brazil, but all three companies will still continue separate activities in the country. Eurofarma and Cristalia will benefit from the deal by gaining access to Merck's novel and branded products. Merck, on the other hand, will be able to leverage the local connections and distribution network of two of Brazil's biggest national pharma companies.
This is big news because of the scope of this deal, but smaller JVs are quite common in the Latin American pharma market. Partnering with local pharmas and distributors can help a small, non-LatAm biotech get products approved and out to the right patients much faster than the company could do alone.
Some of the specific details of the arrangement have not yet been finalized, but will be determined later in 2012. There is no word yet on when the JV will begin marketing products, or what the effect will be on other companies in the space.
Learn about the different partnering opportunities in Latin America at the BioPharma LatAm Convention.