With a final bid deadline looming, Merck & Co.'s consumer health unit still has several big-name pharma suitors. But Reckitt Benckiser, the Irish consumer specialist, may end up snatching the prize, Bloomberg reports.
Merck may be late to the blockbuster party with its new hepatitis C drugs, but the pharma giant is moving fast with a top contender boasting high cure rates.
Merck's venture capital arm is the lead investor in a $12 million financing round for promising molecular diagnostic outfit AdvanDx. Their target: hospital-acquired infections that are increasingly producing drug-resistant strains.
Having invested in data analytics platforms in recent years, pharma R&D labs are working to develop the drugs that will justify their spending. But the experience of Merck suggests the costs can be spread across the business, with manufacturing teams finding the data analytics tools as useful as their peers in R&D do.
Alongside Swiss drugmaker Ferring and the World Health Organization, Merck is embarking on a multinational effort to develop an easily transportable treatment for excessive bleeding, hoping to curb global rates of postpartum hemorrhage among the world's poorest mothers.
France's Stallergenes won FDA approval to market the U.S.'s first oral immunotherapy for grass allergies, giving it a head start on rival Merck, which expects to launch a similar product this year.
Merck and GlaxoSmithKline have nixed their copay assistance for Obamacare patients. The two companies say they fear subsidizing patients' drug purchases will run afoul of federal anti-kickbacks law. But many other top drugmakers- including Novartis, Sanofi and Eli Lilly--will keep their copay cards and discounts, at least for now.
After collaborating with the University of Michigan-spinout NanoBio over the past three years, Merck has signed off on a new licensing pact for the biotech's nanoemulsion adjuvant technology.
In a matter of weeks Merck plans to move a closely-watched combination treatment for hepatitis C into a Phase III trial. The move will boost Merck's late-stage pipeline to 13 programs, giving new R&D chief Roger Perlmutter some additional evidence to back up a case that the leviathan outfit has finally shaken off the lethargy that led to a years-long drought of significant approvals, focusing on pioneering therapies that can carve out badly needed revenue.
Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher may be reconsidering his November plans to spend just €1 billion to €2 billion per year on acquisitions. Rumor has it the drug giant is eyeing a bid for Merck's OTC unit, which could sell for up to $12 billion.