After migraine accord with Eli Lilly, Organon CEO scouts more deals to bolster growth

After picking up European rights to a pair of Eli Lilly migraine meds in December, Organon, the women’s health-focused spinoff of Merck & Co., is hungry to ink more deals.

“It’s not a one-off,” Organon CEO Kevin Ali said of the deal on an earnings call this week. “There’s plenty in the queue that ultimately we can go after that are really nice opportunities for continuing revenue growth and [earnings] growth.”

The CEO’s comments follow Organon’s $50 million acquisition of the European rights to Lilly’s meds Emgality and Rayvow late last year. Under the pact, Lilly will keep its marketing authorizations for the drugs and continue to manufacture the products, with Organon leading commercialization overseas. 

Reflecting on the European launch of Emgality—which Lilly considers one of its key growth products—Ali said Organon sees the potential for the drug to generate $170 million in peak revenues.

Meanwhile, Lilly’s drugs are hardly the only commercial-stage assets Organon has picked up since it separated from Merck.

In early 2022, for instance, Organon scored the Chinese rights to the combined daily contraceptive pills Marvelon and Mercilon from Bayer. Prior to that deal, Marvelon and Mercilon were already owned, manufactured and marketed by Organon as prescription oral contraceptives in 20 other markets. 

Also in 2022, Organon licensed the global rights to Xaciato, an FDA approved gel for bacterial vaginosis, from Daré Bioscience. 

Plus, the company obtained one of its key growth drivers, the Jada System, through its acquisition of Alydia Health. The Jada System is designed to encourage normal contraction of the uterus to stop excessive bleeding after childbirth.

“When you put all the peaks together, you’re talking about $750 million of potential,” Ali said of the company's recent business development efforts.

Looking forward, Organon is working on “a lot” of regional business development deals in places like Europe and China, Ali added.

For all of 2023, Organon’s sales climbed 3% at constant currencies to $6.3 billion, the company said in an earnings release this week. In 2024, the company expects to generate sales between $6.2 billion and $6.5 billion.

Still, it won’t all be smooth sailing for the women’s health-based company in 2024.

For one, the company expects losses of patent exclusivity to take a $70 million to $90 million toll on sales, according to Organon’s chief financial officer Matt Walsh. The figure includes expected losses for Atozet, which is used to lower cholesterol and triglycerides, and Dulera, an asthma medication, Walsh said.

Over in China, meanwhile, Organon expects a negative revenue impact from the country’s volume-based drug procurement program of $30 million to $50 million, Walsh said.

On the flip side, Organon thinks it can generate $400 million to $550 million in new revenues from its fertility business, the Jada System, biosimilars and China retail, not to mention key products like the implantable contraceptive Nexplanon, Walsh added.