Careers at Merz
Merz’s mission statement is “We strive to improve patient´s health – helping them to live better, feel better and look better.” They do this by persisting in innovation and committing to customers and employees, in order to deliver trusted results.
Merz is a wholly privately owned company that is not listed anywhere in the world – it is thus under no obligation to release financial and performance data publicly. As such, detailed data is unavailable.
Merz’s business segments are Aesthetics, Neurotoxins, and Regional Products.
- Aesthetics – Merz researches, develops, produces and distributes products and treatments, ranging from Botox injections to Ultherapy (a non-invasive ultrasound skin tightening treatment), relating to aesthetic medicine. In addition to this, it also provides services, including training, to its customers and end users – primarily doctors.
- Neurotoxins – Merz also has a line of treatments that focus on movement-affecting neurological disorders. Building off its botulism neurotoxin development platform (also the source of Botox), Merz creates unique products – for example for the treatment of dystonia and spasticity.
- Regional Products – Merz also develops certain products and runs certain businesses in certain regions. For example, it produces dermatological products and treatments in the US and a number of other countries, and produces consumer care products for sale in Germany and Europe.
Merz was founded on 9th March 1908 by Friedrich Merz, a young pharmacist and chemist. He established his own production plant for pharmaceutical products in Frankfurt, with 10,000 Reichsmark in capital from his master pharmacist, Emile Losson. A year later, the company expands, moving to a new location – this location remains its HQ even today. In 1911, Merz introduces the first over-the-counter topical contraceptive, Patentex – which is still sold, albeit with a different formulation, today.
Freidrich also starts a writing instruments company, Merz & Krell, with his brother – the same company exists today, having been renamed Senator. Over the next two decades before the war, Merz expanded rapidly, opening sites in Berlin, Vienna, Zurich, London, and Newark in the USA.
The war was a massive setback for the company, with their premises in Frankfurt being completely destroy. However, the company recovered and released a number of revolutionary products over the next few decades. Some of these include the Merz Spezial Dragees, the first oral beauty care product, and Tetesept, which combined modern science with traditional natural remedies.
In recent times, Merz has made commendable advances in both cosmetics and in medical treatments. It released the first drug for the management of serious Alzheimer’s, Memantine, which remains the 2nd most prescribed anti-dementia treatment globally. In 2005 Merz also released the first botulinum toxin based treatment that is both safe and highly effective – the same toxin is the basis for many of its products, including the famous Botox injection, first used to treat frown lines in 2009.
In the past decade, Merz has also made a number of key acquisitions to expand its aesthetics treatments business. These include BioForm Medical, the leading dermal filler provider in the US and Europe, Anteis, which also produces dermal fillers, Neocutis, which provides dermatological products, and Ulthera, which developed a therapeutic ultrasound skin tightening treatment. Merz also set up its first subsidiary in the Asia-Pacific region, in Singapore.
Business model of Merz
Merz produces products that are meant for the general consumer. However, these products are not always sold to the retail consumer – some of them require experts, often physicians, to apply them. One example is the Botox injection product for skin wrinkles – these have to be applied by a qualified physician as they can be highly dangerous if injected into the wrong area or into the bloodstream.
- Aesthetics – Merz has five major aesthetics brands – Merz Aesthetics (various products), Belotero (dermal fillers made of hyaluronic acid), NEOCUTIS (topical cosmetics), Radiesse (dermal fillers), and Ultherapy (ultrasound skin therapy). Of the five, none are sold over the counter – even NEOCUTIS, which manufactures topical cosmetics, requires dispensation from physicians.
- Dermatology – Merz has three major dermatological brands – Contractubex (scar treatment), Mederma (scar treatment), and Pantogar (hair loss). All three are available for sale to the general public, with or without a prescription.
- Consumer Care – Merz has two major consumer care brands – Merz Spezial (oral and topical skin and hair products) and tetesept (general pharmaceutical products – certain European countries only). Both sell products to the general public.
- Others – Aside from the above mentioned products, Merz also has products and research targeted at liver disease (Hepa-Merz) and Alzheimer’s (no brand). Neither sells products to the general public.
Merz is a well-known and old company with a history of making effective products. This adds to its attractiveness to consumers. Further, it produces certain treatments that are unique to it.
For example, it is one of the world’s leading producers of botulinum toxin-based products, including Botox injections.
As the bulk of its products are available only through physicians and medical institutions, Merz sells directly to these. It also sells to distributors, who in turn sell to pharmacies, or to major pharmacy brands.
Merz creates customer relationships through the use of marketing, either directly (through campaigns and personal professional representatives) or through partnerships, either internal (i.e. intra-group partnerships/agreements) or external.
An example of an intra-group partnership is Merz Pharma Canada’s exclusive distribution agreement with Ulthera, a subsidiary of Merz Group, to distribute Ulthera’s products throughout Canada. An example of an external partnership is Merz North America’s exclusive distribution agreement with Tanner Pharma Group granting Tanner the exclusive right to distribute Cuvposa, a Merz product, in Latin America.
Merz is involved in the research, development, production, distribution, and sale of medical products, primarily cosmetic products and treatment options, to licensed physicians.
Aside from research and production partners, Merz also distributes its products through partners. Examples are covered in the “Customer Relationships” section above.
Merz also puts in venture capital into companies and/or other investments that it finds that will provide research, production, distribution or other forms of benefits – these venture strategies can take the form of joint ventures formed with some of Merz’s partners.
While hard data is unavailable, it is likely that Merz’s key resources are similar to other global pharmaceutical companies - key resources are its Property, Plant and Equipment, its Goodwill, and its intellectual properties (i.e. patents for drugs and other pharmaceuticals) and other intangible goods.
While hard data is unavailable, it is likely that Merz’s key resources are similar to other global pharmaceutical companies - key costs are in: Materials and production, marketing and administration, and research and development.
Merz splits its revenue streams by region and not by business segment. The highest performing region by sales is North America, followed by Europe. The fastest growing region is the Asia-Pacific region, where Merz is only just expanding.
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info: Philip holds an undergraduate degree from European Business School, Oestrich-Winkel. Prior to joining Merz in 2012, the held a number of senior-level positions in AstraZeneca, including as the Regional Vice President for Latin America, and Managing Director of AstraZeneca Germany. Before that, he was with Aventis, as a Commercial Director.
info: Beat holds a Business Administration degree from Zurich University of Applied Sciences. He is also a Certified Management Accountant with the Institute of Management Accountants. Before joining Merz in 2014 as its CFO, he was the CFO and Co-founder of Orthimo AG, and before that, the CFO of Kuros Biosurgery AG.
info: Dr. Stefan holds a medical degree from University of Saarland, and a doctorate from Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz. Before joining the corporate world with Pfizer in 2001, he was a physician with various hospitals. He was then a Senior Medical Advisor with Pfizer before moving to become the Senior Corporate Medical Director in Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH. He joined Merz in 2010, rising up to become the Chief Scientific Officer in February 2015.
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