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Merck & Co Inc. (MRK)

  • Mar. 14, 2013, 5:48 PM
    The FDA is reviewing data on a certain class of diabetes drugs which it says might lead to precancerous changes in the pancreas. The drugs may include Eli Lilly's (LLY) Tradjenta, Merck's (MRK) Januvia, Novo Nordisk's (NVO) Victoza, and Bristol-Myers Squibb's (BMY) Byetta. Labels on the drugs already warn of increased potential for pancreatitis, which is the inflamation of the pancreas. The precancerous changes are new, and would affect future labeling.
  • Mar. 13, 2013, 11:52 AM
    Trius Therapeutics (TSRX +3.7%) moves up after reporting a Q4 loss that beat estimates. Revenue was also better, coming in at $5.2M, versus $5M the prior year. Net losses were higher, largely due to clinical and nonclinical development activities for tedizolid phosphate, our lead investigational drug in Phase 3 clinical development.
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  • Mar. 13, 2013, 8:56 AM
    Luminex (LMNX) signs a deal to develop a diagnostic device that will help screen patients for recruitment into Merck's (MRK) clinical trials for MK-8931, its lead investigational candidate for Alzheimer's disease (AD). (PR)
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  • Mar. 12, 2013, 4:26 PM
    Trius Therapeutics (TSRX): Q4 EPS of -$0.36 beats by $0.11. Revenue of $5.2M beats by $0.6M. (PR)
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  • Mar. 12, 2013, 8:30 AM
    Merck (MRK +3.3%) says that the Data Safety Monitoring Board will allow the company to continue with its large-scale trial of its blockbuster Vytorin cholesterol drug, indicating that no safety issues have come up. Some analysts had hoped that the trial would already have demonstrated Vytorin's effectiveness and so could be halted. Alas, the study will continue until September 2014. (PR)
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  • Mar. 10, 2013, 5:00 AM
    With companies looking to avoid paying taxes on their profits, 83 of the largest firms kept $1.46T overseas in 2012, up 14.4% from the previous year, Bloomberg calculates. GE (GE) again had the most with $108B held offshore, up from $102B in 2011; Pfizer was second with $73B, after which came Microsoft (MSFT), Merck (MRK), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and IBM (IBM).
  • Mar. 10, 2013, 4:24 AM
    Negative results from a major study of Merck's (MRK) cholesterol drug Tredaptive could spell the end of sales of AbbVie's (ABBV) Niaspan, which is an extended-release form of the niacin vitamin that sold $911M in 2012. Niacin is used in Tredaptive along with Merk's laropiprant; Tredaptive failed to reduce strokes, deaths and heart attacks in patients with vascular diseases but did cause increased side effects. (PR)
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  • Mar. 4, 2013, 11:49 AM
    Bank of America Merrill Lynch makes a couple valuation calls in healthcare this morning, upping Merck (MRK +1.2%) to Buy on optimism over its osteoporosis drug, and moving to Neutral on Bristol-Myers (BMY -0.9%) due to its limited total-return potential.
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  • Mar. 4, 2013, 9:50 AM
    Shares in GSK (GSK -0.6%), Pfizer (PFE +0.3%) and Abbott (ABT +0.2%) show little reaction to news that lamivudine and zidovudine, which they sell in a JV, helped cure a 2/12 year old infant of HIV. Other firms that develop HIV treatments, including Merck (MRK +0.4%), J&J (JNJ +0.35%) and Gilead (GILD +0.3%), also don't seem too impressed.
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  • Feb. 28, 2013, 5:26 PM
    Cubist Pharmaceuticals (CBST) says the FDA has designated the company's late-stage antibiotic candidate, ceftolozane/tazobactam, as a Qualified Infectious Disease Product for the indications of Hospital-Acquired Bacterial Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated Bacterial Pneumonia and Complicated Urinary Tract Infections. Additionally, the FDA also granted the drugs Fast Track status for Complicated Intra-Abdominal Infections and Clostridium difficile-Associated Diarrhea. Shares +4% AH.
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  • Feb. 26, 2013, 3:56 PM
    Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) declares $0.43/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous. Forward yield 4.07%. For shareholders of record Mar. 15. Payable Apr. 05. Ex-div date Mar. 13. (PR)
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  • Feb. 26, 2013, 1:58 PM
    Diabetes drugs sold by Merck & Co. (MRK -0.7%) and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY +0.1%) may double a user’s risk of developing an inflammation of the pancreas linked to cancer and kidney failure, according to a recent study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Analysis of insurance records indicate that patients hospitalized with pancreatitis were twice as likely to be taking Januvia, MRK’s top-selling drug, or BMY’s Byetta, than a control group of diabetics who didn’t have pancreatitis. Both drugs increase GLP-1, a hormone that stimulates insulin production from the pancreas.
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  • Feb. 26, 2013, 9:51 AM
    Merck's (MRK +0.2%) and Bristol-Myers Squibb's (BMY +0.7%) multi-billion dollar diabetes drugs could double the risks of patients developing pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas, a study indicates. Merck's Januvia and Bristol-Myers' Byetta increase GLP-1, a hormone that stimulates the pancreas' insulin output. Other drugs that do the same but weren't in study include Bristol's Onglyza and Novo Nordisk's (NVO) Victoza.
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  • Feb. 20, 2013, 3:43 PM
    Nabors Industries' (NBR) weak Q4 should pressure management to take stronger restructuring steps, Goldman's Waqar Syed says; shares are undervalued vs. peers, "a major change for a company that has historically traded at a premium." Of all 67 stocks on Goldman's Conviction Buy list, NBR is one of nine eyed for 30%-plus upside; the others are PANW, AAPL, HAL, TUMI, PRU, F, THOR, CBST.
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  • Feb. 13, 2013, 9:30 AM
    Merck (MRK -0.3%) forecasts adjusted EPS of $0.76-$0.78 in Q1, below estimates of $0.86. The guidance includes the impact of Venezuela's 33% devaluation, which the company says will hurt earnings by $0.05 in Q1. "Over the balance of 2013," Merck expects the effect to be $0.02. (PR)
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  • Feb. 11, 2013, 3:02 PM
    A genetically modified smallpox vaccine has been shown to shrink tumors in liver cancer patients and extends survival more than a year, a recent study found. The therapy, from closely held Jennerex, is called JX-594, or Pexa-Vec, and is currently being tested in people with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Treatment options for this advanced type of cancer are limited, and San Francisco-based Jennerex is competing with drug behemoths such as Amgen (AMGN -1.5%) and Merck (MRK +0.4%) in the space, as well as others such as Oncolytics Biotech (ONCY -5%) and Dendreon (DNDN -3.3%).
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Company Description
Merck & Co Inc is a health care company that delivers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products.