Merck's investigational, 9-valent HPV vaccine has the potential to block about 90% of invasive cervical cancer cases worldwide, new research shows. But getting there will be no walk in the park. First, the company will have to solve some uptake problems that have been plaguing the candidate's predecessor, Gardasil, since it rolled out in 2006.
The FDA accepted Merck's application for V503, a next-generation HPV vaccine designed to usurp Gardasil, setting the stage for a near-term approval and some likely blockbusting sales figures.
A competitor is threatening to chip away at sales of Merck's human papillomavirus vaccine Gardasil. Fortunately for Merck, it is the company developing the rival.
Merck once again reached for the ax this week, outlining plans to lay off 8,500 staff in a bid to save $2.5 billion a year. The reorganized company will focus R&D; dollars on four areas, one of which is the vaccines business.
Merck has touted the performance of one of its late-stage contenders as the drug giant readies an application for U.S. approval of the experimental insomnia drug.