Is Schering-Plough the New target for an acquisition?

By Xavier Tello

Schering-Plough is one of the most successful Pharma companies coming from late 20th century.


Logo de Schering Plough

With a good an solid tradition of R&D, Schering (as is known in the USA) could be considered one of the “Big Pharma” representatives with a portfolio that broads form Cardiovascular Disease to Women’s Health, including Central Nervous System, Immunology, Oncology and Respiratory.

Schering is a well-recognized and important player at the OTC arena, with a respected portfolio of Cough & Cold, Dermato-mycology, and the legendary Dr. Scholl’s brand.

Schering has been in some troubles since last year. Regardless of the potential upside that 2007 acquisition of Organon should have represented (mainly for the women’s health business), Schering suffered last april 2008 (more than its partner, Merck), from the powerful hit that came from the unfavorable results of ENHANCE clinical trial which virtually put Vitorin® and Zetia® out of the market.

At that point, Fred Hassan implemented aggressive cost cutting measures, which included savings for up to $1.5 Bn USD towards 2012.

According to Bloomberg’s Alex Nussbaum and Shannon Pettypiece, Schering-Plough could be object of a takeover from Johnson & Johnson or its partner Merck.




In the note, published yesterday and updated today; they cite David Moskowitz from Caris & Co mentioning: “Schering-Plough is certainly a target… [for J&J]”.

Schering-Ploug’s is a very interesting case. Despite its important and promising pipeline (Alzheimer and Asthma), which could bring the company up to $6 Bn USD of annual sales, and the success of its biotech compound Remicade®, there’s apparently no intention to take long-term risks, nor to deny a potential takeover.

Fred Hassan; once the CEO Pharmacia, has a not-so-hidden reputation for “preparing and polishing” good mergers, just like the one he was involved in 2004 when Pfizer took over that company.

Schering’s portfolio would add nice value and image to J&J or Merck. However, it is J&J who would have the adequate economic scenario (cash) to do so. We always have to remember that Merck has denied several times its interest in a big merger.

Next weeks will be very interesting for the three companies.


ENHANCE trial is linked for individual consultation only.

© The New England Journal of Medicine

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One Response to Is Schering-Plough the New target for an acquisition?

  1. Muy interesante el artículo.
    Edificio Manantial – Mucho mas que un geriatrico

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