Merck - Top 15 Pharma R&D Budgets

R&D budget: $5.58B (€4.07B)
Change over 08: +21.6%
Income spent on R&D: 21.3% 

After swelling enormously following its merger with Schering-Plough, Merck ($MRK) took a considerable amount of time before rolling out a plan for comprehensive downsizing in the middle of this year. With a particularly close eye on the facilities that it swept up in the merger, Merck detailed deep cuts, shuttering eight R&D facilities around the globe.

Merck also narrowed its research focus to seven key arenas: Cardiovascular disease; diabetes and obesity; infectious disease; oncology; neuroscience and ophthalmology; respiratory and immunology; and women's health and endocrine. 

Like its competitors, Merck has voiced a big interest in partnering as it swears off an unproductive reliance on its in-house work. And the pharma giant has identified the biosimilar business as a big new focus as it beefs up the technology and staff it needs to gain future approvals on follow-ons.

Merck is also looking for some added R&D help among its fiercest competitors. In a deal that would have seemed unthinkable just a few years ago, Merck joined forces with Eli Lilly ($LLY) and Pfizer ($PFE) to create a new research group in China that will collaborate on new cancer drugs. And Merck followed Lilly's lead recently when it struck a five-year genomic research outsourcing deal with Covance, which took over its Seattle-based gene-expression lab.

The China gambit, collaborations, downsizing in the wake of a big merger--Merck is ringing all the bells in search of a more efficient drug discovery engine.

Merck - Top 15 Pharma R&D Budgets

Suggested Articles

Pfizer isn't giving up in biosims. This week, it unveiled launches to three Roche blockbusters, with two already on the market.

Novo Nordisk is betting big on GLP-1 Saxenda in its global obesity push, but England's cost watchdog is unimpressed with the drug's long-term outlook.

Tecentriq didn’t show benefit against simple observation at delaying cancer recurrence or death in patients with muscle-invasive urothelial cancer.