Merck Serono

The Power of Two… Managing Post Merger Integration and Business Development in the Pharmaceutical Industry.


In brief

When German pharmaceutical company, Merck, acquired Swiss biotechnology firm, Serono, the combined entity of Merck Serono was created. It was a pivotal moment in the history of both companies; with 28 compounds in clinical development and a combined R&D budget of $1.3 billion, there was a lot to capitalize on.

Ad-comm Group was engaged to help manage post merger integration, uniting the two organizations, building on existing equities and reinforcing their innovative credentials.

In addition to executing integration activities, we worked with Merck Serono as strategic advisors and marketing support partners to achieve business objectives for key oncology, fertility and growth hormone therapies.

What we did

We started with a focus on PMI internal communication, uniting the two organizations with a sense of pride, a spirit of comradery, and an understanding of the company’s mission and values and objectives.

Our strategy and creative teams worked to develop and execute an extensive office branding project, bringing the newly formed company to life with a fresh visual system.

We then planned and executed three-day long team building/strategy off-sites in Guam and in Nagasaki for Merck Serono’s 300 senior and mid-management staff. From strategic elements to every detail of the content creation and logistical aspects, Ad-comm’s integrated team delivered successful and memorable off-sites that steered key business decisions and momentum within the organization.

A key growth driver for Merck Serono was oncology drug Erbitux. Ad-comm was designated the lead agency and strategic advisor for the Erbitux launch in Japan. From launch and acceleration, to first line approval, we executed a 360 degree communications program that included the launch events, cancer symposiums, publication strategy, building and managing a strategic KOL program, content creation, product literature, and digital sales tools for medical reps.

Our team also supported Merck Serono’s Gonal-f brand, a world leader in fertility treatment. Ad-comm conceptualized and executed logistical and creative aspects of FertiLink, a three-day conference in Kyoto sponsored by Merck Serono, engaging 200 global key opinion leaders in the field of fertility therapy. The conference successfully conveyed Merck Serono’s commitment and leadership in developing and marketing innovative products in the field.

Our work expanded to include Saizen, Merck Serono’s therapy for growth hormone deficiency (GHD) with a scope of work that planned and executed communication objectives, a publication strategy and KOL engagement.

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