Early today both Gilead and Merck issued new data on their next-next-gen hepatitis C combos, demonstrating just how brutal the competition for market share is becoming while highlighting some of the boundaries that are emerging in shortening treatment regimens.
Conventional thinking is that the complexity of biosimilars will keep their discounts to just 20% to 30% of the branded price. Think again. In Norway a biosimilar of Merck's arthritis blockbuster Remicade is going for a discount of nearly 70%, upsetting conventional wisdom and competitors.
With Januvia contributing billions in critical revenue, Merck has backed its fair share of diabetes education and awareness efforts. But with its latest, the company may give vaccine sales a boost, too.
The $335 million Merck & Co. biologics plant in Ireland that went online last year is already getting another investment. Merck said last week that it would invest €11.5 million ($12.4 million) in the Carlow facility.
Hot on the heels of Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck announced over the weekend that it has filed for FDA approval to market its PD-1 star Keytruda for non-small cell lung cancer.
Fitch Ratings is raising the flag on pharma M&A. The credit ratings agency says the current spate of dealmaking is putting some pressure on European Big Pharma players.
In the latest development in the race for an Ebola vaccine, Merck and partner NewLink have taken their candidate to late-stage trials in Sierra Leone, the companies announced Tuesday.
Thanks to a big stock grant, Merck & Co.'s Kenneth Frazier vaulted to the highest echelons of pharma CEO pay last year. With a pay package valued at more than $25 million, Frazier beat out Pfizer's Ian Read and Johnson & Johnson's Alex Gorsky--even if he fell far short of Regeneron chief Len Schleifer.
When Roger Perlmutter exited an early "retirement" from Amgen to join Merck as head of R&D two years ago, he was going back to a company with one of the weakest R&D records in Big Pharma. One of his first chores was to execute a major restructuring, aimed at slimming down the pharma giant's multibillion-dollar R&D budget. And he simultaneously hit the accelerator on the PD-1 drug Keytruda, which won a pioneering FDA OK last year.
Merck put two of three plants in Puerto Rico on a hit list in 2013 as part of its efforts to cut costs and headcount. But after selling one last year to Sanofi's animal health unit Merial, it has found a buyer for the second, efforts that together will have saved about 400 jobs on the island.