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Israel Responsible For Half of Jewish Pharmaceutical Giant Merck’s Revenue

By Times of Israel, 2/6/2018

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Israeli innovation is behind almost half of the healthcare revenues of the 350-year-old German pharmaceutical and chemicals firm Merck, Kai Beckmann, CEO of Performance Materials at the firm, said in an interview on Tuesday.

“Roughly almost half of (our) healthcare revenue is based on innovation stemming from Israel,” Beckmann said. “This tells us a lot of the story of how important” Israel is to Merck.

The Rebif drug marketed by Merck to help decrease the frequency of relapse symptoms of multiple sclerosis had sales of some 1.7 billion euros in 2016, while the Erbitux drug for patients with cancer of the head and neck, also based on Israeli technology, had global sales of around €1 billion, he said.

Merck’s range of products includes biopharmaceutical therapies for cancer and MS, and liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group, which was established in 1668.

Beckmann spoke with The Times of Israel as the German giant, which employs 52,000 employees globally and had total sales of €15 billion in 2016, inaugurated on Tuesday a new technology innovation laboratory at its subsidiary, Qlight Nanotech in Jerusalem, which it bought in mid-2015 to boost its expertise in liquid crystal display materials and OLED materials.

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