Merck KGaA Signs Licensing Agreement with Sol-Gel

Published: Feb 04, 2008

Bet Shemesh, Israel - At the end of 2007 the Merck KGaA turned its existing exclusive contract with Sol-Gel Techologies Ltd. In Israel into a licensing agreement. This licensing agreement allows Merck, besides the exclusive rights to marketing and global sales, also the permission to manufacture Sol-Gel's UV-Pearls™. Behind the UV-Pearls™ brand name hides a technology developed by Sol-Gel Technologies to encapsulate UV absorbers.

Merck uses this process to encapsulate its organic UV filters. The corresponding products are available under the brand name Eusolex® UV-Pearls™. Through the encapsulation of the UV filters, it remains on the skin surface in order to unfold its full potential. “Eusolex® UV-Pearls™ are the ‘sunglasses for the skin’,” says Bettina Magsaam, Group Leader Marketing Cosmetic Actives at Merck Darmstadt. “Applying the capsules to the skin is comparable to wearing sunglasses to protect the eyes.”

"This is an important achievement for Sol-Gel" said Alon Seri-Levy, Sol-Gel's co-founder and CEO. "After these years of successful collaboration, we are proud that Merck KGaA has chosen to increase its commitment to our controlled and highly efficient encapsulation technology".

“Sol-Gel Technologies is now fully focused on pharmaceutical projects and has recently added some innovative drug delivery solutions to its portfolio,” said Tamar Ciechanover, Sol-Gel’s Chairperson.

Merck brought the first encapsulated organic UV filter to the market already in 2001. Since then Eusolex® UV-Pearls™ have been established with leading international cosmetic manufacturers as a high-end gold standard, and can be found in many well-known sunscreen formulations. This year Merck will construct a corresponding production facility in Darmstadt to be able to expand the current Eusolex® UV-Pearls™ product portfolio.

Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with sales of EUR 6.3 billion in 2006, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by 30,962 employees in 61 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds an approximately 70% interest and free shareholders own the remaining approximately 30%. In 1917 the U.S. Subsidiary Merck & Co. Was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.

Sol-Gel Technologies Ltd is a privately held-company based in Bet Shemesh, Israel. The company provides innovative drug delivery solutions and life cycle management opportunities using patented, Sol-gel based encapsulation systems in silica. The technology enables new and stable combinations of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients resulting in improved efficacy, safety and patient compliance.

Sol-Gel was founded in 1997 to commercialize a breakthrough technology developed by co-founder Prof. David Avnir of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Prof. Avnir currently is the Chairman of the International Sol-Gel Society. The company has been funded by a distinguished group of Israeli and international investors, including JVP (Israel), Argonaut (US), DSM (Netherlands), Evergreen (Israel), Challenge (Israel), Millenium (Israel), Jesselson (Israel) and Stata (US).

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