Sanofi and Merck & Co to end their joint vaccines operations in Europe

Sanofi Pasteur MSD was created in 1994 and will be dissolved before the end of this year

French drugmaker Sanofi and Merck & Co (known as MSD outside the US and Canada) will end their joint vaccines operations in Europe and pursue their own distinct growth strategies.

The firms plan to integrate their respective European vaccine businesses into their own operations and independently manage their product portfolios.

The joint venture, called Sanofi Pasteur MSD, and owned on a 50/50 basis by Merck and Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines arm of Sanofi, was created in 1994 to develop and commercialise vaccines originating from both companies' pipelines in 19 European countries.

We have mutually agreed that it is in our best interests to manage our vaccine product portfolios independently

'Our joint venture has achieved considerable success over the past two decades from a public health and commercial perspective,' the firms said in a statement.

'After carefully considering our individual strategic priorities, alongside the economic and regulatory environments for vaccine operations in the European Union, we have mutually agreed that it is in our best interests to manage our vaccine product portfolios independently.'

The firms said any impact on employees would be handled 'responsibly' and there would be a 'smooth and orderly transition'.

Sanofi Pasteur and MSD plan to end the joint vaccines venture before the end of 2016.

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