In yet another merger between two major pharmaceutical companies, Merck will acquire Schering-Plough for $41.1 billion, the two companies linkurl:announced;http://www.merck.com/newsroom/press_releases/corporate/2009_0309.html this morning (March 9). The deal is projected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year. The newly formed company will keep Merck's name and its headquarters in Whitehouse Station, NJ, and Merck's CEO, Richard C. Clarke, will remain head of the combined entity. This is the third large-scale drug company merger in the works this year. In January, Pfizer acquired Wyeth in a $68 billion deal, and Roche is currently in talks to acquire biotech pioneer Genentech. How will the shrinking number of pharma companies affect biotech, for which pharma provides the most frequent exit strategy? "I think in the end this is all going to affect biotech positively," Ren Benjamin, senior biotechnology analyst at Rodman & Renshaw, told The Scientist. "These are all creative acquisitions...
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