After suffering a string of late-phase failures in recent years, Merck KGaA is in the middle of restructuring its business and rebuilding its pipeline. This week, the company began working with two potential sources of new drugs when computational biology and antibody discovery startups joined its Israeli bio incubator.
Johnson & Johnson's Janssen unit and Merck KGaA are joining the parade of companies rolling out new manufacturing facilities in China, a market that could become the world's largest in a decade.
When Merck KGaA's lung cancer vaccine Stimuvax flunked Phase III trials in December, many thought the project was dead. Merck continued to work on the compound though, and now, having probed the improvements seen in some patients in the last trial, is heading back to the clinic.
Life Technologies is linking with Merck Serono to develop companion diagnostics for cancer and other diseases, a calculated advance for the company as it waits to be snatched up by Thermo Fisher in a $13.6 billion deal.
Despite flunking a Phase III trial in December, Merck KGaA is still talking about its lung cancer vaccine. The company has decided to push on with another ongoing late-phase trial in Asia and is now weighing the options of starting a further study.
The lung cancer vaccine race has brought together an unusual mix of players. Merck KGaA was in a good position, but its vaccine disappointed in Phase III, while GlaxoSmithKline could report data on its candidate this year. Then there is the Cuba-Argentina joint venture.
Luminex has inked a long-term agreement with Merck KGaA's life sciences business, tasking the German company with providing assays for Luminex's research technology.
Amid repeated pipeline struggles and an R&D re-think, Merck KGaA has signed an exclusive deal with the newly public Quintiles, launching a novel collaboration that will give the CRO a seat at the decisionmaking table.
Mylan has had an on-again, off-again relationship with the former Dey plant in Napa County, CA. The plan to close it is back on and by year's end the lights will be off.
Novartis' ($NVS) vaccine business is hanging in the balance, relying on the potential approval of a shot to protect against a meningitis-causing bacteria to keep the unit afloat.