Business briefs: Merck and Pfizer; Valeant and Actavis; Bayer; Gilead

Share this article:

Merck and Pfizer will partner on development and commercialization of ertugliflozin, an investigational SGLT2 inhibitor for type 2 diabetes. Trials are expected to begin this year. This marks Merck R&D chief Roger Perlmutter's first major pact since taking the job. Merck, through a subsidiary, and Pfizer will collaborate on ertugliflozin with combinations of metformin and Januvia. They'll share potential revenues and certain costs on a 60/40 percent basis, according to a release.

Bayer has bought contraceptive maker Conceptus in a bid for the rights to Essure, a permanent IUD. Essure will join Mirena and Skyla, Bayer's other IUD devices. Essure was approved by FDA in 2002. Bayer's other contraceptives Yasmin and Yaz saw setbacks after an ingredient in both treatments, drospireone, was flagged because it may increase the risk of blood clots. Amidst thousands of patient lawsuits, Bayer set aside €1.9 billion last year to cover litigation for those pills.

A merger between Valeant and Actavis was put on hold today, as negotiations fell through due to “disagreements on the proposed terms,” reported Reuters. Canada-based Valeant was reportedly seeking to purchase Actavis for more than $13 billion. Valeant currently holds $10.8 billion in debt, and recently purchased Obagi Medical Products.

Gilead's HIV blockbuster hopeful, Stribild, suffered a setback as FDA turned down two of its four active ingredients, elvitegravir and cobicistat, on a standalone basis due to “documentation and validation of certain quality testing procedures and methods.” Gilead does not expect this setback to affect Stribild's approval or use, and the drugmaker is moving quickly to address regulators' concerns. Analysts, according to FierceBiotech, expect the four-in-one HIV therapy to reach peak sales of $5 billion by 2016.

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of MMM to post a comment.

Email Newsletters


Patient access to pharmaceuticals is a tale of two worlds—affordability has improved for the majority, while the minority is hampered by cost, distribution and red tape. To provide marketers with a well-rounded perspective, MM&M presents this e-book chock full of key insights. Click here to access it.

More in Business Briefs

Novartis said to be stepping out of HCV

Novartis is said to have relinquished rights to an investigational hep. C treatment, signaling its exit from the therapeutic space, according to a former partner's announcement.

Monday Moves: September 15

Hires and promotions for manufacturers, regulatory and agencies

Kantar acquires Evidências, expands Brazilian presence

The company's acquisition signals the growing importance of understanding the Brazilian healthcare market and evidence-based healthcare management services.