Merck Sells Asian Ophthalmics Biz to Japan's Santen Pharmaceutical

May 20, 2014

Merck agreed on May 13 to sell the Asian rights to its ophthalmics business to Japan’s Santen Pharmaceutical for $600 million.

The agreement covers Merck's treatments for eye pressure caused by glaucoma, and its glaucoma drug Timoptic, in Japan and other key European and Asia Pacific markets.

Merck says its decision to divest its eye treatment business is part of an ongoing strategy to sharpen commercial focus and improve operational efficiency. Merck previously sold its U.S.-based ophthalmology business to Akorn in 2013.

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