Merck updates pipeline with Schering additions

Following its acquisition of Schering-Plough, Merck has released an updated pipeline that features 20 candidates in Phase III or under regulatory review, and more than 20 candidates in Phase II development. Its revamped pipeline is a mix of small molecules, vaccines and biologics.

Merck's four near-term approvals include SCH 418131 for asthma; MK-6621 for atrial fibrillation; SCH 900121 for contraception; and asenapine for schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder. Other diseases targeted by the company's projects include and thrombosis, cancer, diabetes, hepatitis C infection, insomnia and schizophrenia. Its deepest therapeutic areas are cardiovascular disease and infectious diseases, where the company boasts eight investigational therapies in each category.

"The combination of two complementary pipelines has yielded a robust and diversified portfolio to fuel Merck's future growth," said Peter Kim, Ph.D., president, Merck Research Laboratories. "Many of the more than 40 Phase II and Phase III investigational medicines and vaccines have the potential to have a major impact on human health."

Merck has already won kudos for its handling of the massive merger. Analysts have predicted solid growth for the new Merck and anticipate the company will do everything it can to make its combined operations as efficient as possible.

- see Merck's release on its pipeline
- check out the company's pipeline chart