What is One Pipeline?

How we’re advancing the best internal and external science to progress our pipeline for patients

May 30, 2024

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Drug development is a long and difficult endeavor. It can take more than 10 years to bring a new medicine to market. So how does our company think about developing new medicines and vaccines to help save and improve lives? The answer: through our One Pipeline strategy, where we complement our internal innovation and discovery efforts with the best external science through business development.

Dean Li

“Our One Pipeline strategy enables us to advance breakthrough science, whether it comes from our own labs or from our partners’ labs, and make medicines and vaccines for patients,” said Dr. Dean Li, president, MSD Research Laboratories (MRL). “Every day, we’re pushing scientific boundaries in research. Business development and external partnerships are integral to help drive our internal pipeline and to provide access to assets that are important for our discovery and clinical development groups.”

To achieve that balance, MRL works in lockstep with our business development and licensing (BD&L) team. “I want to emphasize how integrated BD&L is with MRL. This is hand in glove,” said Li.

Business development augments our pipeline

Our BD&L team is committed to securing scientific and commercial collaborations, licensing agreements and acquisitions from discovery to late-stage candidates and new technologies to help build our robust portfolio. We have a legacy of successful collaborations and are among the most active dealmakers in the biopharma industry.

Sunil A. Patel

“We match our strong scientific conviction with bold investments in novel, cutting-edge science to advance new options for patients,” said Sunil Patel, senior vice president, head of corporate development and BD&L. “We’re focused on bringing in the best external science to complement our internal efforts to deliver on our purpose and sustain our company for the next 130 years.”


Invested towards business development since 2019.


Significant transactions executed annually across technologies, modalities, therapeutic areas and phases of development.

The BD&L team members focused on our pipeline are embedded with scientists across our research network and, in addition to our New Jersey and Pennsylvania sites, they’re strategically located in key epicenters of innovation including Boston, Cambridge, London, South San Francisco, Shanghai and Tokyo. The team searches the globe for cutting-edge science and works alongside our research team to evaluate opportunities built on strong scientific principles, regardless of location or origin.

Creating a sustainable innovation engine

two scientists working in a lab

As part of our One Pipeline strategy, we ensure a smooth transition when bringing in external science and leverage our clinical development and manufacturing expertise to advance each program with speed and rigor. This strategy is helping to build and maintain the flow of novel candidates through clinical development to patients, enabling long-term, sustainable growth for our company.

“Strategic business development focused on the best external science remains an important priority for our company. We’ve demonstrated that we can leverage our deep discovery prowess to identify important acquisition targets and then add significant value through our powerful clinical research engine, our regulatory expertise and our commercial scale, which together can serve to accelerate development and enable broad global access to important medical discoveries for patients in need,” said Rob Davis, chairman and chief executive officer.

scientist in lab


We’re focused on discovering new medicines and vaccines for today and the future. View our pipeline.

office meeting

Business development and licensing

We work with many partners, from early-stage science to clinical-stage programs, to deliver life-changing therapies.