It seems likely — to me, at least — that European antitrust authorities have required Merck to license this potential competitor to the Norvax® vaccine out to Novartis, to prevent a monopoly (likely to be created by simply shelving the new tech embodied in these legacy Intervet patents). Why else would Merck concede that it is putting a competitor in a position to put a knock on Norvax?
The below is a bit of the item from Zenopa.com — do go read it all:
. . . .Intervet/Schering-Plough has agreed to provide Novartis Animal Health with rights to develop new pancreas disease (PD) vaccines for fish based on its patents.
The agreement gives Novartis access to part of the company’s patent portfolio for the disease, which has previously formed the basis for Intervet/Schering-Plough’s own vaccine Norvax Compact PD, launched in 2008.
Novartis’ product will provide an additional treatment option for salmon producers in the UK, Ireland and Norway to cope with PD, a complex and serious condition that has gained prominence in the last five years.
Hank Behrend, head of the global aquatic animal business for Intervet/Schering-Plough, conceded that Novartis’ drug will be a competitor to Norvax, but maintained that its introduction is necessary to meet the needs of the sector. . . .
Do stay tuned, but negotiating deals like this one may explain the delayed closing date for the New Merial joint venture.