The latest newco to emerge from Merck KGaA's Merck Serono unit, TocopheRx, gives a glimpse into the specialty pharma's strategy for advancing early stage assets for the fertility market. However, TocopheRx's creation is not necessarily a signal that Merck Serono plans to spin out its other fertility programs.

The newco will develop Merck Serono's preclinical follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) agonists, which it believes could replace injectables as the second-line option for women who fail frontline oral fertility drugs.