About

SGP-Antitrust3-smThis is my emerging collection of thoughts and observations on what the “New Merck” will look like, after the bust-up of Schering-Plough, by Merck, is completed, over the next couple of years.

I’ll take a look at what it will face, as issues, in (a) integrating the old Schering-Plough operations, (b) spinning off the Merial businesses, then (c) joint venturing the Intervet businesses, only to (d) buy back into the Merial joint venture, once enough of (e) the competing lines have been divested(!). [This last step has been aborted, and the two separate animal health businesses returned their owners -- in early-2011 -- as both concerns came to realize that a feasible transaction (and one that would still satisfy antitrust regulators in the EU and US) was not possible at an advantageous implied price.]

Finally, I’ll look at which companies might (f) partner with the Consumer Health Care business, and what will become of (g) the Johnson & Johnson arbitration for the return of exclusivity in the Remicade and Simponi franchises. [The arbitration was settled on terms favorable to J&J -- but Merck retained some revenue streams -- not a total loss, at mid-2011.] Should be entertaining, if nothing else.

Namaste

22 Responses

  1. not sure where to post that
    just wanted you to know this is intense

  2. Can’t you make the layout of this blog larger? I find it very slim, it takes about 1/3 of my screen.

    • I am all about options, Giovanni!

      Try the alternate (original) site, here.

      Or for something “in the middle” — try this back-up here at WordPress.

      Namaste

      • wow!! I knew I was missing something!

        I am very happy now that I can read a larger version of your blog. thank you for posting.

      • No worries — enjoy.

        Namaste

  3. And — to be clear(er), here — I sort of envisioned this version/layout as my default iPhone4 format.

    The same content (although the FULL archive is not available here, earlier than late 2009, that is — that older archive stuff is on the other two sites) is available on all three sites — feel free to choose the version that best fits the device you are using.

    Namaste

  4. do you happen to know what has become of the Insmed Therapeutic Proteins facility taken over by Merck in Boulder, CO? thanks.

    • While it may be that Merck is shopping it for an ultimate sale, sub rosa, — it seems Merck still owns it, for the moment — at least.

      Namaste

  5. Will Merck maintain its position as the second largest pharmaceutical company once its largest selling drug Singulair expire[s] in 2012?

    • The short answer is yes — as measured by public company annual sales revenue, Merck will remain the world’s second largest, behind only Pfizer. Privately-held German Boehringer-Ingelheim is likely the largest (or one of the largest) non-public pharma concerns.

      Namaste

      • How can Merck maintain its annual sales revenue? By cutting jobs and closing manufacturing sites, right? So am I right in my understanding that “definitely, Merck will lose sales once the Singulair expires but they can maintain the revenue by cutting cost? About marketing of respiratory drugs, does Merck have differences in regional strategy (US vs. Europe)? Or they just employ the same strategies i.e. traditional marketing?

  6. Sam — I think the best, and simplest — answer to your latest is that Merck’s overall revenue growth will slow, for the consolidated enterprise, but as the rating agencies have indicated, Merck is aggressively bringing costs down more quickly than the revenue growth rate is deccelerating. Thus, Merck will still show very respectable (if shorter term) profitability. Longer term, it will be a stretch.

    As to drug marketing strategy differences between the USA and the EU, you should know that the differing regulatory environments dictate some differences (i.e., no DTC, or “direct to consumer” adverts in the EU), and that doctors’ differing sensibilities in the two play a large role.

    Truthfully, your last question is well-beyond the scope of what I am prepared to do, for free, for you, here. Pick up any web-available investment analysis, from a reputable house, and read the six or so pages the analysis will invariably contain on these topics.

    Namaste, and thanks for stopping by.

    • Thanks for your insights! It truly helps me a lot on my understanding of the New Merck! Anyway, I have another inquiry and if you can answer this for free, I will very much appreciate it.

      Have you read this?
      “Scientists at the Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research are working to discover new therapeutic agents for the treatment of respiratory diseases.”

      Does it mean that Merck will continue to remain focus on respiratory and they will not shift to other therapeutic areas (i.e. oncology, etc.) once the Singulair expire? In short, how important the respiratory area to Merck is?

      • It took a bit, Sam, but here is an answer, striaght from the mouth of mother Merck:

        . . . .Merck today announced results from two 26-week investigational Phase III clinical studies evaluating the efficacy and safety of two dose strengths of DULERA® (mometasone furoate and formoterol fumarate dihydrate) in adults 40 years and older with moderate to very severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The two dose strengths evaluated in the studies were DULERA 100 mcg/5 mcg and DULERA 200 mcg/5 mcg, both administered as two inhalations twice daily (i.e. 200 mcg/10 mcg and 400 mcg/10 mcg, twice daily).

        In both studies, DULERA 200 mcg/10 mcg and DULERA 400 mcg/10 mcg significantly improved lung function as measured by forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) area under the curve over 0-12 hours (AUC0−12hr) at Week 13 (one of the co-primary endpoints) compared to treatment with mometasone furoate 400 mcg (administered as two inhalations of mometasone furoate 200 mcg twice daily), the primary treatment comparison for this endpoint, or placebo alone. . . .
        So — though it is only having middling success with Dulera, it is still very much committed to being a player here.

        Namaste

  7. Hi, Thanks for the information. Is Merck transparent to the clinical trials that they are conducting? Because I cannot find any information if they are already conducting trial in Asia particularly China on the boceprevir compound (Victrelis), which is already approved in US and EU. I want to know if it will also be available for Hepa C patients in Asia.

  8. A new promising path forward on dinaciclib? Other than this bit, I’ve seen little on it in some time. Your thoughts?

    By Kai-Jye Lou, Staff Writer

    Published on Thursday, April 12, 2012

    UCSF researchers have found that the majority of triple-negative breast cancers have a dysregulated MYC pathway, and the group has shown that CDK inhibitors such as Merck and Ligand’s dinaciclib could selectively kill off these tumors. The group is planning a clinical trial to test an undisclosed CDK inhibitor in this patient population.

    http://www.biocentury.com/scibx/coversto

  9. Any updates on the Glenmark- Merck litigation in India. I thought Glenmark was to file a response by May 22nd 2013?

    • Thanks PM — that is what the papers in India had reported. I cannot access the courts’ files in India directly, from here in the States — so I can’t see whether Glenmark has responded, or been given a continuance of some sort. I’ve run several Google local India and regional (Asia) searches for news on Glenmark, but nothing truly relevant and responsive has appeared, as of tonight.

      I do know that by mid-June, there were to be another round of hearings on the matter, in open court.

      That much I am sure will be covered by the Indian papers, and I will post on it.

      Do stop back, and thnaks for asking!

      Namaste

  10. Please post any noteworthy updates on the Propecia litigation process. As far as I know there is a case management conference scheduled for 11/20.

    • I will get a look at that later this week.

      You are right — the Magistrate is holding an adjourned status conference on November 20, in MDL 12-2331, in the Eastern District of New York:

      . . .ORDER granting (No. 138 in 1:12-md-02331-JG-VVP) letter application to adjourn. The 10/16/13 conference is rescheduled for Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. Ordered by Magistrate Judge Viktor V. Pohorelsky on 10/3/2013. Associated Cases: 1:12-md-02331-JG-VVP et al. . . .

      This is the alleged sexual side effects MDL. Will report as a new post, any material development, but discovery is just getting underway here — so it may be a bit before anything big shakes loose. And I’d not expect settlement talks until much more discovery has been completed.

      Thanks for asking, and Namaste!

      • Great, thanks for the updates. We’ll see if anything noteworthy happens on the 20th.

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