Merck Partners With Chinese Drugmaker Sinopharm
July 28, 2010
The Associated Press reports, Merck & Co. will form a joint venture with Sinopharm, cooperating on vaccines for diseases such as human papillomavirus in China. Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is a sexually transmitted disease that causes most cases of cervical cancer. Merck makes Gardasil, one of two vaccines approved to prevent HPV. Merck said the companies will discuss teaming up to sell Merck''s drugs in the country. The companies did not disclose terms of their agreement. Like other major pharmaceutical companies seeking new revenue sources as blockbuster drugs lose patent protection, Merck has said doing more business in emerging pharmaceutical markets like China is a central part of its strategy. Sales growth of prescription drugs have slowed in the U.S. and Europe, while growth is picking up in countries including Brazil, China, India and Russia. They each have large populations, a growing middle class and a government investing more money in health care.