Gilead Sciences convinced an panel of arbitrators that rival Roche had no legitimate claims on Sovaldi, its record-setting hepatitis C treatment, but the antiviral pioneer still faces patent spats with a host of challengers looking to cash in on next-generation combo therapies for the disease.
Pfizer's Prevnar 13, the world's best-selling vaccine, scored a big win Wednesday, nabbing a CDC committee nod for universal use in adults over the age of 65. And once payer coverage kicks in, that's a nod that could be worth $2 billion for Pfizer, analysts say--with Merck's Pneumovax getting a boost, too.
Merck scored a muted victory on Wednesday when the FDA approved its insomnia remedy suvorexant at four doses--the largest of which is half what the company initially hoped to be able to market.
A year after enduring a stinging FDA rejection, Merck has convinced the agency to sign off on lower doses of its suvorexant, a novel sleep drug once predicted to become a blockbuster.
Gardasil, the darling of Merck's vaccines unit, has proved a valuable moneymaker, hauling in $2.17 billion worldwide last year to rank second on the world's best-selling vaccines list. But lagging U.S. vaccination rates against human papillomavirus, for which the jab is intended, are preventing the shot from achieving its bigger sales potential.
In recent years it's been the big biotechs in the U.S. which have registered approvals for the drugs most likely to succeed on the market. But in reviewing EvaluatePharma's recent picks for top Phase III drugs, it's interesting to see some prominent positions among the Big Pharma crowd. Read the full report >>
Sales at Merck Animal Health have faced some headwinds after the company last year pulled its cattle feed additive Zilmax from the market following allegations from farmers of horrifying hoofless heifers. But the Merck unit managed to grow sales ever so slightly in the second quarter, which was better than the company as a whole. It attributed that success to its new FDA-approved canine drug.
Though Merck's Gardasil tops the company's best-selling vaccines list and has already achieved blockbuster sales, the drug giant has a long way to go if it wants to boost U.S. immunization rates against human papillomavirus.
With investors focused almost exclusively on earnings and R&D programs today, Merck quietly managed to slip in news of a setback in its quarterly report, noting that the FDA has rejected its marketing application for the fertility treatment corifollitropin alfa.
Merck surprised Wall Street analysts today when it announced that its net profit in the second quarter jumped to $2 billion from $906 million in the same period a year ago, and that it was raising the lower end of its income forecast for 2014. But it's not exactly time to pop out the champagne corks and declare a successful turnaround.