Divestiture Possible For Merck’s Animal Health, Consumer Units; Januvia’s Sales Slide
This article was originally published in The Pink Sheet Daily
The performance of Merck’s diabetes franchise came under scrutiny by analysts on an earnings call Oct 28, after the company reported sales of its number one drug fell 5% in the third quarter year on year. Top executives came closer than ever to saying they are inclined to divest non-core businesses, including animal health.
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Merck executives shift their position regarding the potential divestiture of non-pharma assets, including the firm’s consumer-health business. J.P. Morgan analysts expect a sale of the consumer unit, and say Merck’s brands, including Claritin and Coppertone, could grow globally with a new owner.
AbbVie, Merck and Pfizer had contrasting numbers for their third quarter earnings. While AbbVie rode high on Humira, Merck faced tough conditions in China and Mexico. Pfizer outclassed most global companies in China, with a growth of 8%, which could have doubled had it not transferred some products to its Chinese JV with Hisun.
Two of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies are teaming up to develop a treatment for type 2 diabetes, but the drug will have plenty of competitors with a better market position by the time it faces regulatory approval.