Back in the Spring I opined that I thought Merck would partner with MannKind after data came back from the Affinitty trials. I still think it will happen - Merck issued a press release saying they are cutting back on R&D and refocusing. From the October 1st press release:
- The company will increase its focus on the key therapeutic areas that meet unmet medical needs, provide the best opportunities for the business and deliver the greatest value for customers - diabetes, acute hospital care, vaccines and oncology.
Then on Merck's Q3 conference call this morning prepared statements included:
"As we think about our business going forward, we are focused on balancing the short term and the long term by resourcing the key internal programs to deliver our pipeline, including potential game-changers like anti-PD1, while also augmenting our pipeline with even greater emphasis on external opportunities."
"we remain ready to bolster the pipeline with external innovation at any time"
In response to a question:
Roger Perlmutter - President, Merck Research Laboratories
"With respect to our programs, we have been looking at a variety of different ways to assist in the therapy of patients with diabetes. We haven't disclosed any information about how we might move forward in that area, so I really don't have any comments about that."
Things are not going well for Merck. They have plenty of money and credit but they are under pressure and need to make something happen. They repeatedly brought up their patents expiring and their lead diabetes drug Januvia actually shrank in sales last quarter - while diabetes remains one of the fastest growing diseases in the world.
I think Merck and MannKind will partner up.
...also I am working on an in-depth article on a new stock, email email@example.com to be added to my free newsletter.
Disclosure: I am long MNKD.