Merck wins FDA approval for Gardasil's heir

Merck ($MRK) won the FDA's blessing for a next-generation HPV vaccine designed to usurp Gardasil, putting it in line for billions in revenue. The new shot, dubbed Gardasil 9, is approved to protect against four more strains of the virus than its predecessor, and analysts estimate the vaccine could pull in $1.9 billion a year at its peak. Unfortunately for Merck, however, the new injection is playing something of a zero-sum game, as much of its potential market share will come at Gardasil's expense, and Leerink estimates the old vaccine will drop from last year's $1.8 billion in sales to $525 million by 2018. News