German Merck to seek cost-sharing deals for drug development: FT

|About: Merck KGaA (MKGAF)|By:, SA News Editor

In an effort to reduce the cost of developing new drugs, Merck KGaA (MKGAF.PK) is taking an unorthodox approach.

The company is looking to partner with "external investors" such as private equity groups to "share the cost of testing experimental medicines," FT says.

The move comes as the industry tries to juggle what appear to be competing goals: 1) Boost productivity and 2) cut research expenditures and return cash to shareholders.

Merck has narrowed its focus to oncology and immunology as part of a "pipeline resurgence," while the company's head of pharmaceutical and consumer health Stefan Oschmann looks to "create smaller, more entrepreneurial 'biotech-industry' style units within the company in which scientists have greater flexibility and financial incentives."