Merck And Pfizer Make A Late Play For The Diabetes Market
This article was originally published in The Pink Sheet Daily
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.
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The big pharma reported the first positive Phase III data for its PCSK9 inhibitor bococizumab and confirmed it is on track to file the SGLT2 inhibitor ertugliflozin in the US this year, but both drugs will compete in markets already crowded with rivals. The same is true for its PD-L1 inhibitor avelumab.
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.
The Indianapolis-based big pharma touted the value of its late-stage pipeline at an analyst meeting on Oct. 3, particularly its diabetes and oncology franchises, even though they face tough competition and have encountered some setbacks.