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Istituto Gentili SPA

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Latest From Istituto Gentili SPA

Astra's Price of Immortality

Astra's purchase of Merck's share of the company's joint venture may represent an emotional overreaction to the Swedish company's earlier strategic timidity. Few mid-sized companies in the 1980s (Glaxo being a notable exception) were aggressive enough to use their drugs as currency for entering the US market and building a significant presence. Merck was able to take advantage of several of them--including Astra. Now with a warchest gleaned from DuPont's and Astra's repurchase of their joint ventures, Merck, facing its biggest challenges in nearly two decades, can fund a larger marketing effort, more research, or afford the kinds of expensive licensing deals it's heretofore resisted.
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