Transaction covers Merck’s cardio-metabolism sales force, a hypertensive drug, and a diabetes therapy.

Daiichi Sankyo entered an agreement with Merck Serono to bolster its European presence through its newly formed Turkish subsidiary. It includes the transfer of 20 members of Merck Serono’s cardio-metabolism sales force in Turkey and marketing rights for two drugs. The products include Concor, an antihypertensive medication, and Glucophage, a diabetes agent.

“We reach two goals with the latest agreement: First, we strengthen our corporate strategy in terms of our presence in Europe. Second, we are keeping our commitment to provide the subsidiary in Turkey that we established this past March with new highly qualified employees and additional products by the end of the year,” notes Reinhard Bauer, CEO of Daiichi Sankyo Europe.

The Turkish subsidiary of Daiichi Sankyo was set up in March as part of the acquisition of the osteoporosis medication Evista for Europe. At that point Evista, the rights to which were acquired from Eli Lilly & Company, was the only medication in Daiichi Sankyo’s portfolio in Turkey.

“Thanks to these new employees and the acquisition of medications to treat hypertension and diabetes, we are approaching the critical mass needed to reach our company goals and to become one of the leading 15 pharmaceutical companies in Turkey by 2015,” comments Ilker Özbay, managing director of Daiichi Sankyo Ilac Ticaret, the Turkish subsidiary. “We also need to bolster our sales team in preparation for the market introduction of products coming out of our pipeline that we want to introduce in Turkey in the years ahead.” The firm is planning to introduce to the market in Europe and Turkey three new antihypertensive and antiplatelet products between 2009 and 2012.

This deal follows a transaction between Daiichi Sankyo and Merck in August in which the Japanese pharmaceutical company obtained the sales force of Merck Pharma that served primary-care physicians in Germany. Daiichi Sankyo’s European expansion strategy has in the past year focused on Germany and included the acquisition of U3 Pharma for $236 million.

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