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Bracco to establish operations in U.K., Ireland

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Pharmaceutical firm Bracco plans to establish imaging operations in the U.K. and Ireland by the end of this year, the Milan-based firm announced this month. The move allows Bracco to take over operations in these two countries currently managed by Merck

Pharmaceutical firm Bracco plans to establish imaging operations in the U.K. and Ireland by the end of this year, the Milan-based firm announced this month. The move allows Bracco to take over operations in these two countries currently managed by Merck Pharmaceuticals Imaging, a division of Merck of Germany. Merck Pharmaceuticals will continue to distribute Bracco’s contrast media products in the U.K. and Ireland until Bracco’s operations are in place. Bracco products distributed by Merck include x-ray contrast agents Niopam and Iomeron, as well as MRI agents ProHance and MultiHance.

The agreement is part of Bracco’s move to acquire Merck’s 50% share in its imaging and pharmaceutical businesses, which was announced in January. Pending regulatory approval, Bracco will pay Merck $900 million over five years (SCAN 1/12/00).

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