Some analysts have pointed to Merck's hospital sales force and its 2,000 or so reps. Surely those experienced sales types can wring more sales out of Cubist's products than the much smaller Cubist group did.
Amgen and Merck have launched an early-stage trial pairing their respective cancer immunotherapies, looking to confirm the clinical and commercial promise of combination approaches to cancer.
Merck may have to rethink its math on the Cubist buyout. Announcing the $9.5 billion transaction Monday, the company pointed to an earnings bump beginning in 2016. But later in the day, a U.S. court nixed all but one of the patents covering its top seller, Cubicin--and that patent expires in 2016.
Merck is shelling out $9.5 billion for antibiotics specialist Cubist Pharmaceuticals, joining the wave of major drugmakers with a renewed interest in anti-invectives.
Merck & Co. is betting almost $10 billion on beefing up its antibiotics business. The U.S. drugmaker said it agreed to buy Cubist Pharmaceuticals for $102 per share, or about $8.4 billion, plus $1.1 billion in net debt, for a total transaction value of $9.5 billion. The buyout is part of Merck's plan to zero in on its most promising businesses and scale back the rest.
Merck's new PD-1 cancer drug Keytruda (pembrolizumab) has posted another round of positive early-stage results that help demonstrate its potential in an important cancer R&D arena: hematology. But some of the biggest players and punters in the immuno-oncology field may be left wondering if Merck's top therapeutic hopeful is losing market ground to Bristol-Myers Squibb's rival treatment.
Just days after GlaxoSmithKline and the NIH's National Instite of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced Phase I success for their investigative Ebola vaccine, Merck and NewLink Genetics have their own positive news to report.
In biotech, here are the top 10 news stories of the year so far, based on web traffic.
Pfizer's partnership with German counterpart Merck KGaA for $850 million upfront, plus as much as $2 billion in milestones, improves the prospects of PD-L1 and PD-1 checkpoint inhibitors in the oncology space, to the excitement of developers of combination therapies to the class of medicines, which feature both biological and mechanical mechanisms.
NewLink Genetics, the small Iowa company working on a promising Ebola vaccine, has been looking for manufacturing muscle, not to mention development experience and marketing know-how, to get its Ebola vaccine to market.