Germany's Merck aims to triple Japan sales

TOKYO - German drugmaker Merck KGaA MRCG.DE said on Thursday it aims to triple sales in Japan in less than five years, as it introduces its flagship Erbitux cancer drug and expands its liquid crystal business.

By (Reuters)

Published: Thu 24 Jul 2008, 2:04 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:56 PM

Merck won approval from Japanese authorities for Erbitux last week to treat advanced colorectal cancer.

‘In less than three to five years, I would see us reaching 150 billion yen ($1.4 billion),’ Merck Chairman Karl-Ludwig Kley told a news conference.

The Germany pharmaceuticals company, which is also the world's largest producer of liquid crystals, had sales of over 50 billion yen in Japan last year.

Kley also said the family-controlled Merck would focus on expanding its operations but would not rule out buying a Japanese pharmaceutical firm.

Merck aims to launch Erbitux in the world's second-largest drug market in the fourth quarter and will apply for the use of the drug in other indications as part of its strategy to become a major player in the Japanese oncology market.

Merck also plans to seek Japan approval for its Gonalef fertility treatment, which is used to induce ovulation, by the end of the year.

Merck wants to boost liquid crystal sales in Japan where it sees demand growing on the spread of new display technologies such as organic light emitting displays (OLEDs), Kley said.

Merck officials declined to give specific sales targets for Erbitux or liquid crystals in Japan.

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