Face to face comparison Teva and Merck KGaA

Israel-based daily Globes yesterday published an article comparing Merck KGaA’s and Teva’s strategies.  The analysis focuses on the events from 2012 onwards, as Merck Serono–a subsidiary of Merck’s–closed down its oncology R&D center in Geneva, dismissing 580 employees. The decision was taken by Dr. Stefan Oschmann, Merck’s VP strategy and pharma division head at the time, and now CEO. Teva’s development has been similar to the German group, the author writes. Like Merck, Teva in 2012 decided to focus on a core business and chose neurology, whereas Merck concentrated on oncology. Later, Merck developed Bavecio for prostate cancer, while Teva gave priority to Copaxone (multiple sclerosis). Since then, Merck has strengthened its R&D and focused on internal drug development, while Teva decided to acquire new drugs. Teva in 2016 acquired Actavis, showing it intended to completely rely on generics for its growth. The $40bn acquisition of Actavis has turned out to the mistake that has determined Teva’s decline, due to the huge debt it has created and the generics price drop in the US. The drop has resulted in sales not meeting expectations. Merck, on the contrary, decided to integrate the acquired Serono and to limit itself to small acquisitions for its Pharma arm. Merck has a strong presence in Israel with Pharma Laboratories, a company established by Serono with Weizman Institute and focusing on the development of new drugs. Additionally, Merck in 2015 acquired Jerusalem-based QLight and some months ago announced it had created a R&D center for nanotechnologies in Jerusalem.

(Source: Globes)