Diabetes Franchise May Help Merck Offset Loss Of Singulair
This article was originally published in The Pink Sheet Daily
The Januvia/Janumet franchise posted sales growth of 40% both in the fourth quarter and over the full year for Merck, while Isentress and Gardasil also posted strong growth rates.
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Bristol’s $2.5 billion tender for Inhibitex left many industry observers waiting to see what HCV players will do with only two independent pure-play HCV biotechs left. Idenix is eager to get its mid-stage nucleotide free of an FDA partial clinical hold, while Achillion says it has the assets to go it alone in the HCV competition.
Newly named chairman, Merck’s CEO Ken Frazier, cites several – smallish – launches, flexibility, especially in the face of setbacks, and business development, and ongoing focus on innovation as priorities in 2012 that will lead to long-term sustainability.
With three large outcomes studies to read out interim or final results, 2012 is likely to be a pivotal year for Merck’s R&D, even as it rebalances its traditionally first-in-class emphasis to a hybrid model that also embraces best in class.