Merck has cut one of most advanced efforts to develop a new therapy for Parkinson's disease. Its Phase III clinical trials of preladenant for the prevalent neurological disorder failed to beat placebo, prompting the U.S. drug giant ($MRK) to halt extension studies of the experimental A2A receptor agonist and abandon plans to file for regulatory approvals for the treatment.
A panel of experts assembled by the FDA has given Merck a boost in its quest for an approval of the sleep drug suvorexant.
Generic competition, sales woes and R&D disappointments have put revenue on the decline and Merck in hot water, with the pharma giant earlier this month promising to buy back as much as $15 billion in shares. And yesterday, the company started in on a big chunk of that buyback, inking a deal to buy $5 billion of its own shares from Goldman Sachs.
So, do drug companies really spend more money on marketing than on R&D? In the Pipeline takes a look at that contention, and the cold hard facts are these: Probably not. But it's hard to tell for sure.
Joint ventures with Chinese companies have been seen as a way for Big Pharma to get better traction in the exploding China market. But it is not a one-way street. Chinese companies see the tie-ups as a way to build their own capabilities and begin to tap lucrative Western markets.
FDA staffers found clear evidence to prove that Merck's blockbuster drug candidate suvorexant is quite effective in promoting sleep, but the internal review cites multiple safety issues for the high doses studied in clinical trials.
A federal judge in Australia has put the kibosh on a half-million-dollar settlement over ill effects of Merck's ($MRK) painkiller Vioxx, a drug that has spawned billions of dollars in litigation.
Daktari Diagnostics reeled in another $7 million in equity financing, an amount likely to help fuel the company's overall expansion as well as the construction of a new plant in Scotland for its point-of-care-HIV tests.
Merck's U.K. group has raised its level of play in an industry-wide competition for the attention of physicians as they use the Internet.
What keeps Merck's security staff up at night? Animal rights activists and laid-off workers, apparently.