Germany Pharma News: Merck KGaA Expecting More COVID-Related Deals; Digital Health Woes; CureVac Vaccine Potential vs Variants


The latest news from German pharma, including a new US leadership team and more COVID-related investment at Merck KGaA; the CureVac vaccine’s role in fighting COVID-19 variants; and why the country is trailing its European neighbours in digital health.


Merck KGaA’s new CEO shakes up U.S. leadership to spark sales of promising drugs (Fierce Pharma)

Belen Garijo took over last month as CEO at Merck KGaA and she’s not wasting time putting her imprint on the company.

On Tuesday, the Germany-based company said it had tapped Chris Round as president at its North America healthcare unit, replacing Andrew Patterson, who’ll step into the brand-new role of chief marketing officer.


Merck KGaA CFO Says More Deals Likely Amid Covid Boom (Bloomberg)

Merck KGaA CFO Marcus Kuhnert discusses the likelihood for a prolonged boom in Covid-19 vaccine and test components, the growing need for more semiconductors and why that means his company will invest more in both areas.


Study finds Germany trails Spain and the US in digital health (PharmaPhorum)

Germany is lagging behind other countries in the adoption of digital health, including Spain and the US, according to a new survey carried out on behalf of drugmaker Fresenius.

The three-country poll found that Spain is way out in front, with over half of people asked responding that digital is already playing a major role in the networking of healthcare facilities, diagnosing illnesses and telemedicine.


Big Pharma Stocks Rebound After Germany’s Merkel Speaks Out Against Vaccine Patent Waiver (Common Dreams)

Merkel told reporters that she believes “production capacities and the high-quality standards” of current coronavirus vaccines are the factors limiting global vaccine supply, “not the patents”—dismissing the role that restrictive intellectual property protections have played in preventing manufacturers around the world from making generic alternatives.


CureVac’s COVID vaccine has important role to play in fighting variants, CEO says (Market Watch)

CureVac’s CEO said the company’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine can still play an important role in the pandemic fight given the “rapid spread” of concerning variants.

Franz-Werner Haas said the German company’s shot, called CVnCoV, was in the final stages of development and had benefited from the diverse range of virus variants included in its trials. He noted that new strains emerging in recent months had superseded the original strain, which spread across the world last year.


Germany makes J&J vaccine available to all adults (Irish Times)

Germany has moved into top gear with its Covid-19 vaccination programme, allowing anyone who wishes to receive the one-jab Johnson & Johnson vaccine to do so.

Between now and the end of June, Berlin is expecting nearly 10 million doses of the single-dose vaccine, which until now it has prioritised for over 60s and people without a fixed address.

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