As We Reported In April 2015 — TECOS Results Lend Merck’s Januvia®/Janumet® A Modest Boost

Back in April 2015, Merck saw a one-day four percent increase in its NYSE indicated stock price, as quoted after-hours on the NASDAQ. I called that an overreaction.

The stock quickly drifted back to current range bound levels, thereafter. I expect much the same tomorrow, when the NYSE formally opens trading in the name. The full TECOS publication just really means that Merck may pick up some of the slack spooling at AZ’s feet, now — that, related to AZ’s Onglyza® diabetes medication. As I said in April, the larger issue for the Kenilworth franchise here, is “genericization” of sitagliptin, which is leading to price erosion, globally. TECOS removes a smallish overhang for the franchise. Nice, just the same — here is Reuters, on it all — about 20 minutes ago:

. . . .Details of a large heart safety study presented on Monday appear to give Merck’s diabetes drug Januvia a clean bill of health, possibly setting the stage for a return to sales growth for the drugmaker’s biggest product.

Merck in April said the study, called Tecos, of 14,724 patients with type 2 diabetes and a history of heart disease demonstrated that adding Januvia to usual care did not increase major heart problems any more than adding a placebo, removing a cloud that has been holding back sales of the medicine and the company’s share price.

Januvia, an oral medication known chemically as sitagliptin that helps lower blood sugar levels, had sales of about $4 billion in 2014, plus another $1.8 billion for the related combination product Janumet. . . .

Not surprising, and all of this news is certainly baked into tomorrow’s Merck NYSE price. So. . . off to the Symphony — for some Antonin Dvořák, now — but do go ‘hawks, tonight!


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