Archive for March 5th, 2012

Merck’s Peter Kim To Webcast, At Cowen & Co. — in Boston — Tomorrow
March 5, 2012

He’s not likely to make any real news in Boston tomorrow, but we’ll likely listen in just the same. We may liveblog any real news:

. . . .Peter Kim, president of Merck Research Laboratories, is scheduled to present at the Cowen & Company 32nd Annual Health Care Conference in Boston, Mass. on March 6 at 8:40 a.m. EST. Investors, analysts, members of the media and the general public are invited to listen to a live audio webcast of the presentation. . . .

So, do stop back by — around 8:40 Eastern tomorrow morning. I doubt he’ll discuss the ragweed allergy candidate, or the FDA complete response on “Son of Vytorin” [great tag, there Matt Herper!] — but who knows?

FDA: “No, For Now” — On Lipitor®/Zetia® Combo Pill
March 5, 2012

Not remotely surprising — but Merck must now either decide to double-down, and invest anew in the combo-pill (despite the vagaries experienced with the Vytorin® combo-pill), or decide to cut its losses, and move on. Fascinating. [More of my background, here.] From the AP, then:

. . . .The Merck experimental drug combines the company’s cholesterol drug Zetia with a generic version of rival Pfizer Inc.’s Lipitor, which had been the top-selling drug of all time.

Merck says company officials will talk with the FDA to determine the next steps for trying to win approval. . . .

This actually may save Whitehouse Station some money in the longer run, if it decides to moth-ball the combo. Obviously, Lipitor® is now a cheap generic, and the jury is still out (IMPROVE-IT — due 2014) on whether statins (of which Lipitor is one) combined with Zetia® actually improve outcomes, or just lower the numbers, in blood levels, without any overall CV risk reduction effect.


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