Merck & Co Inc. (MRK) - NYSE
  • Feb. 4, 2014, 2:33 PM
    • Novartis (NVS -0.7%) reportedly is drawing interest for its human vaccines unit as talks to swap its animal health business for assets from Merck (MRK +2.6%) slow down.
    • While the vaccines unit was initially on the table with animal health as part of the possible trade for MRK’s over-the-counter drugs business, NVS may now sell the vaccines unit separately in a deal that could be valued at ~$1B.
    • NVS and MRK are still talking but agreeing on valuation is proving difficult, so NVS has informally talked to Eli Lilly (LLY -0.1%) and Bayer (BAYRY, BAYZF) about the animal health business, according to the report.
    | Feb. 4, 2014, 2:33 PM
  • Feb. 3, 2014, 9:07 AM
    • Merck (MRK) has signed an agreement with Belgian biotech Ablynx (ABLYF) to develop cancer immunotherapies in a deal that could eventually be worth €1.7B plus royalties on the sales of any products.
    • Merck will pay an initial sum of €20M and up to €10.7M in R&D financing during an initial three-year period. The U.S. company will then make payments based on the achievement of development, regulatory and commercial milestones.
    • Ablynx will work on discovering antibody-derived proteins, known as nanobodies, that can activate the immune system to attack cancer cells.
    • The agreement adds to a neurology partnership that Merck and Ablynx began in 2012.
    | Feb. 3, 2014, 9:07 AM | 1 Comment
  • Jan. 31, 2014, 2:33 PM
    • Merck (MRK -0.5%) has received buying interest from large consumer companies in its consumer healthcare business, which could fetch as much as $8B-$10B, or 4x-5x the unit's annual revenue, Reuters reports.
    • MRK consumer healthcare business is best known for Coppertone sunscreen, Claritin allergy medicine and Dr. Scholl's foot products.
    • MRK is known to be evaluating options for its much larger animal health unit, and may be considering the potential of spinning it off as a separate publicly traded company.
    | Jan. 31, 2014, 2:33 PM | 1 Comment
  • Jan. 27, 2014, 12:32 PM
    • Merck (MRK +2.8%) powers to new 52-week highs as Morgan Stanley upgrades shares to Overweight from Underweight, saying MRK’s prospects for its new MK-3475 cancer drug have improved and could bring $6B-plus in annual sales by 2020.
    • The firm notes MRK’s decision to file for approval for the drug a year earlier than expected while Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY -2.3%) expressed Friday its uncertainty about the readiness of its Yeroy/PD-1 drug combination as a competitor to MK-3475.
    • MRK’s overall performance is improving too, the firm says, as cost cuts, R&D changes and potential for strategic action are boosting the company’s outlook.
    | Jan. 27, 2014, 12:32 PM
  • Jan. 23, 2014, 4:01 PM
    • Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CBST): Q4 EPS of $0.29 misses by $0.06.
    • Revenue of $299.7M (+21.9% Y/Y) beats by $14.23M.
    • Shares +1.3%.
    | Jan. 23, 2014, 4:01 PM
  • Jan. 23, 2014, 12:10 AM
    | Jan. 23, 2014, 12:10 AM | 6 Comments
  • Jan. 22, 2014, 5:35 PM
  • Jan. 15, 2014, 9:54 AM
    • GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK +1%) sales in China have been recovering since Q3, when revenue plummeted 61% following the emergence of accusations that the company bribed doctors.
    • "The trend is definitely looking a bit more positive," says CFO Simon Dingemans. "We can see the future opportunities to rebuild the business as and when we get to the other side of the (bribery) inquiry."
    • Meanwhile, a study from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has found that GSK's Rotarix vaccine for preventing severe diarrhea in infants could slightly increase the risk of bowel blockage. However, the problem isn't severe enough to warrant a change in recommendation for the vaccine's use.
    • An FDA report on Merck's (MRK -1%) RotaTeq has come to a similar conclusion.
    | Jan. 15, 2014, 9:54 AM
  • Jan. 15, 2014, 9:36 AM
    • A panel of external FDA advisers is meeting to discuss whether to approve recommending Merck's (MRK -0.8%) Vorapaxar drug for preventing drug clots.
    • On Monday, the agency said in a preliminary review that the treatment should be authorized following "robustly positive" clinical trial results.
    • Vorapaxar, which Merck plans to sell under the brand name Zontivity, is designed to prevent heart-related deaths, heart attacks and strokes in patients who have recently suffered a heart attack but not a stroke.
    • You can follow updates from the meeting on Twitter here.
    | Jan. 15, 2014, 9:36 AM
  • Jan. 13, 2014, 9:46 AM
    • Merck (MRK +3.1%) is considering its options for its animal health and consumer-care operations and plans to carry out any moves this year.
    • The pharmaceutical company said it "could reach different decisions" about the businesses.
    • Merck's comments follow reports last week that the company is in talks with Novartis about the Swiss pharmaceuticals company swapping its animal-health and human vaccines businesses for the U.S. drug maker's over-the-counter health-products unit. (PR)
    • As part of a plan announced in October, Merck expects to cut annual operating costs by $2.5B by the end of 2015 vs 2012, with $1B to be realized by the end of this year.
    • Meanwhile, Merck has started the process of applying for approval of its MK-3475 immunotherapy for patients with advanced melanoma who have stopped responding to Bristol-Myer Squibb's (BMY) Yervoy. Merck expects to complete the initial filing this year. (PR)
    | Jan. 13, 2014, 9:46 AM | 1 Comment
  • Jan. 13, 2014, 9:02 AM
    • The FDA says in a preliminary review that Merck's (MRK +0.4%) Vorapaxar drug for preventing drug clots should be approved following "robustly positive" clinical trial results.
    • The recommendation comes two days before a meeting of external FDA advisers to discuss the treatment.
    • Vorapaxar, which Merck plans to sell under the brand name Zontivity, is designed to prevent heart-related deaths, heart attacks and strokes in patients who have recently suffered a heart attack but not a stroke.
    | Jan. 13, 2014, 9:02 AM
  • Jan. 13, 2014, 8:37 AM
    • Cubist Pharmaceuticals (CBST) Q4 revenues +22% to $299.7M vs consensus of $280.29M.
    • FY 2013 revenues +14% to $1.1B vs $1.03B.
    • The company's Cubicin antibiotic generates 2013 global revenues of over $1B.
    • Cubist also provides a pipeline update. (PR)
    | Jan. 13, 2014, 8:37 AM
  • Jan. 13, 2014, 8:01 AM
    • Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY) acquires Merck (MRK) subsidiary Sirna Therapeutics for $175M upfront in cash and equity — MRK may also get milestone payments and "single-digit" royalties tied to development and sales.
    • The deal gives ALNY "pre-clinical [RNAi] therapeutic candidates, chemistry, siRNA-conjugate and other delivery technologies," which CEO John Maraganore says complement the company's existing portfolio. (PR)
    • See also: SNY deepens relationship with ALNY in $700M deal
    • Also: ALNY gives pipeline update
    • ALNY +30% premarket
    | Jan. 13, 2014, 8:01 AM
  • Jan. 9, 2014, 3:05 AM
    • Novartis (NVS) is reportedly in discussions with Merck (MRK) for the Swiss pharmaceuticals company to trade its animal-health and human vaccines businesses for the U.S. drug maker's over-the-counter health-products unit.
    • The deal would involve each company swapping around $5B in assets and would fit in with their strategies - and with an industry trend - of focusing on their main strengths and of divesting non-core operations. (Previous)
    • Separately, Japanese health regulators have taken the unprecedented step of asking Tokyo prosecutors to begin a criminal investigation into whether Novartis violated advertising regulations by exaggerating the effectiveness of its Diovan hypertension drug in marketing materials. The alleged breach could lead to fines and jail terms. (Previous)
    | Jan. 9, 2014, 3:05 AM | 1 Comment
  • Jan. 8, 2014, 4:10 PM
    • Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) says Chief Medical Officer Robert Kauffman is retiring in H2.
    • He will be replaced by Merck (MRK) veteran Jeffrey Chodakewitz. (PR)
    | Jan. 8, 2014, 4:10 PM
  • Jan. 8, 2014, 9:51 AM
    • The FDA has approved Merck's (MRK -0.9%) Isentress oral formulation for treating HIV-1 infection in babies who are four weeks old and above when used with other therapies, which appears to increase the chances of success.
    • Merck expects the formulation to be available in the U.S. in Q3. (PR)
    | Jan. 8, 2014, 9:51 AM
Company Description
Merck & Co., Inc. provides various health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products worldwide. It is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets vaccines and... More
Sector: Healthcare
Industry: Drug Manufacturers - Major
Country: United States