“We’ll double Merck medicines in (late-stage development) to 18,” he added, and get Schering-Plough products that, unlike many of Merck’s and their competitors’ products, won’t face generic competition for several years.
Schering-Plough CEO Fred Hassan said in an interview that those drugs include Nasonex, Pegintron for hepatitis, cancer drug Temodar, the Nuvaring contraceptive and the two cholesterol drugs, all of which have patent protection until 2014 or later.
Doesn't appear Pegintron will be any cheaper for a long time. Hope Merck is as generous in helping those obtain meds who have no health or drug coverage as Schering-Plough has been
Thanks; 41 billion dollars; not bad.
Looks like maybe Boceprevir is the real reason.
Hope Merck is as generous in helping those obtain meds who have no health or drug coverage as Schering-Plough has been
No joke. Peg isn't going anywhere anytime soon and if the patient assistance programs are cut that is bad news for everybody with HCV everywhere.
I don't know why Boc would have anything to do with it though - this drug is going to make them gobs of money for years to come, especially with telepravir working as an add-on drug. Although the beauty of getting rid of a Peg is phenomenal - I don't see it happening any time soon. Too much money to be made and too many old fashion doctors who don't even believe in things like extension or rescue drugs let alone switching up meds.
Battle Signs: Merck And J&J?
Matthew Herper and Robert Langreth, 03.09.09, 03:09 PM EDT
Merck's $41 billion takeout of Schering-Plough could cause a rift with Johnson & Johnson.
To all the world, it appears that Merck is buying Schering-Plough. Unless you're a lawyer.
Merck (nyse: MRK - news - people ) is the one diluting its shareholders and paying cash for Schering-Plough (nyse: SGP - news - people ) shares. The new company will be called Merck. Merck Chief Executive Richard Clark will run the place, and Schering-Plough Chief Executive Fred Hassan is not expected to stick around.
But on a conference call on Monday Merck and Schering-Plough executives said they are structuring the deal so that Schering-Plough will change its name to Merck and absorb its larger partner. The reason: to avoid triggering a change-in-control clause in a deal between Schering and Johnson & Johnson (nyse: JNJ - news - people ).
"The deal is structured as a reverse merger in which the surviving parent company is the existing Schering-Plough corporate entity, which will be renamed Merck," said Merck general counsel Bruce Kuhlik in a conference call on Monday morning. "And under the expressed terms of the distribution agreement, this change of control provision focuses on whether there has been a change in the surviving public company. It doesn't refer to stock ownership or anything of the sort. As you know, that does appear in other change-of- control provisions. It's not in this one, and that is why we are confident in our belief that we will not trigger a loss of rights."
At the heart of these questions of who remains in charge is the fate of several promising pharmaceutical products.
Schering sells J&J's rheumatoid arthritis blockbuster, Remicade, overseas. It is Schering's biggest standalone product with annual sales of $2.1 billion. Schering also has overseas rights to golimumab, a promising but still experimental follow-up to Remicade. A change in control might give J&J back those rights, according to Larry Biegelsen, an analyst at Wachovia (nyse: WB - news - people ).
"The poker game with Johnson & Johnson certainly is interesting," says Michael Krensavage of Krensavage Asset Management. "I would expect JNJ to challenge Merck."
Comment On This Story
Hassan said during the conference call that he had discussed the matter with Johnson & Johnson Chief Executive William Weldon. But analysts still see a potential J&J challenge as one of the main hurdles before the culmination of the deal.
There are three possibilities if J&J challenges Merck, according to Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Timothy Anderson. First, rights to Remicade and golimumab might just revert to J&J, so Merck and Schering would not have those sales. Second, another form of "horse trading" will occur--or has already--that will result in Merck keeping control of the drugs.
Third, he writes, J&J may make its own bid for Schering-Plough. "The fit between the two companies is as good as--if not better--than the fit between [Schering-Plough] and Merck."
The Merck-Schering-Plough merger could also impact Vertex Pharmaceuticals (nasdaq: VRTX - news - people ), which is developing a new drug with Johnson & Johnson to treat hepatitis C, according to Brian Abrahams, a biotechnology analyst at Oppenheimer & Co.
Vertex has been racing Schering to bring a new hepatitis C treatment to market. So far, Vertex appears to be closer to market with a more effective drug. But Abrahams writes that combining antiviral drugs from Merck and Schering might provide a competitive threat to Vertex later on.
Abrahams writes that he still believes that Vertex's combo hepatitis C product, bolstered by a recent acquisition, is likely to outperform combinations from Merck and Schering-Plough.
I forgot the citation.
If I remember correcly, a sub of JNJ has at least the non-US distribution of Teleprivir.
Looks like maybe Boceprevir is the real reason.
I doubt it. Analysts suspect it's simply cost cutting by consolidating resources in our reccsionary climate. The market was not impressed and Merk's shares dropped yesterday. Up today but so is everything else.
You remember correctly.
"....Vertex is joining with Johnson & Johnson to sell telaprevir overseas, but it plans to market the drug itself in the U.S. ..."
Roche is also buying Genentech, so interesting things going on in the pharma world these days.
The real reason why big pharma are joining forces are because the signing of the stem cell research pact signed by the Obama is going to cut in on profits...stem cell therapies scare big pharma...drug sales will tank....ive been reading this on financial sites
When the PI drugs get approved soon.....LOOK OUT...billions will be made overnite....its already happening...they are getting ready to fight for the big piece of the pie by joining forces....its as plain as the nose on Michael Jacksons face...if its still there