Merck KGaA has been striking deals and pushing R&D in a bid to revive its slumping drug portfolio. But the company's recent efforts aren't bearing fruit--at least not yet. On Tuesday, the German company revealed less-than-impressive first-quarter numbers for top-selling meds, along with earnings that rang in below analysts' estimates.
Erbitux is one of the top 10 best selling cancer drugs in the world and for years Bristol-Myers Squibb has sold it in the U.S. But Erbitux no longer fits in the sweet spot for Bristol-Myers which is hot for immuno-oncology right now and so is turning over marketing of the colorectal cancer drug to others. In the U.S. that is Eli Lilly, whose ImClone unit developed the cancer drug and put the marketing deal in place before Lilly bought ImClone some years back.
When it comes to selling big, cancer drugs have a lot going for them. Their targets--deadly diseases that in many cases can kill quickly--put them in high demand, even as they continue to redefine...
In an interview with Reuters, Belén Garijo, head of the company's pharma unit Merck Serono, outlined a strategy for Erbitux centered on the KRAS mutation-free subgroup, which accounts for about 60% of all cases.
The Cranbury, NJ-based biotech says they will focus on knockoffs of Humira, Rituxan, Avastin, Herceptin and Erbitux.
Three years after Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly settled a nasty legal scrap over the rights to necitumumab--a cancer drug initially pursued by ImClone and pushed ahead into late-stage tests--BMS has dumped its rights to the troubled program.
Merck KGaA is already seeing the payoff from cost cuts. The German drugmaker beat expectations on third-quarter earnings, thanks in part to lower costs. Higher drug prices helped, too. In fact, the company raised its outlook for the year because of increased demand for its drugs, Bloomberg reports.
Drug companies are offering to take a haircut this year on what Greek hospitals owe them if the government will pay the debt and stop its healthcare facilities from running up more unpaid drug bills.
Merck KGaA has hit another obstacle on its path to expanding Erbitux sales. The German drugmaker pulled its marketing application for a non-small cell lung cancer use in Europe--for the second time.
Danish biotech Symphogen picked up a major league pharma partner today along with an injection of fresh cash. Merck KGaA snagged Symphogen's second program--an anti-EGFR "mixed" antibody now in Phase II--with a €20 million ($25 million) upfront payment and promises of up to €475 million ($600 million) more in development and commercial milestones.