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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
January 11, 2013
07:41 EDTMRKMerck recommends phsyicians stop prescribing Trepadtive
Merck is also recommending that physicians review treatment plans for patients taking Trepadtive in a timely manner to discontinue Trepadtive and consider other changes in therapy to achieve their dyslipidemia management goals. In the meantime, Merck encourages patients with questions to speak with their health care provider, and to not discontinue therapy without first speaking with their physician.
News For MRK From The Last 14 Days
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April 23, 2014
06:54 EDTMRKCambridge Healthtech Institute to hold a conference
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06:54 EDTMRKGlobal Technology Community to hold a summit
7th Annual Diabetes Summit is being held in Cambridge, MA on April 23-25.
06:16 EDTMRKPharmaceutical companies narrowing focus, WSJ reports
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April 22, 2014
12:39 EDTMRKOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were higher at midday amid a number of big deals and a much talked about proposed deal in the pharmaceutical industry, as well as another wave of earnings reports. The market opened quietly but on the positive side of the ledger as investors pored over the multitude of quarterly reports issued after the close last night and earlier today. Near noon the market stood near its session highs and is pointing toward its sixth consecutive positive close. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., existing home sales slipped 0.2% to a 4.59M rate in March, versus expectation for them to have fallen 1% to a 4.56M rate. The Richmond Fed manufacturing survey for April had a reading of 7, beating the consensus forecast for a reading of 2. COMPANY NEWS: Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) teamed with Bill Ackman's hedge fund Pershing Square to make a hostile takeover offer for Allergan (AGN), sending shares of both companies higher. Allergan confirmed it received the offer of $48.30 in cash and 0.83 shares of Valeant stock for each of its own shares, which it said it will evaluate with the help of its advisers. Analysts' opinion on the fallout varied, with one firm suggesting Allergan could pursue its own takeover of Shire (SHPG) or Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) as a defense, and another saying a rival big pharma company, such as Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) or Merck (MRK), could launch a competing bid for Allergan. Shares of Allergan led all gainers on the S&P 500, rising 16%, while Valeant shares gained more than 6%... A number of other big drug makers made news with a string of deals, as Novartis (NVS) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) both reshaped their companies via a trio of agreements. Novartis will acquire GSK's oncology products for a $14.5B payment and up to $1.5B contingent future payments, Novartis will sells its Vaccines business, excluding flu, to GSK for $7.1B plus royalties, and the two agreed to tie-up their consumer healthcare businesses through a joint venture. In a separate transaction, Novartis agreed to divest its Animal Health Division to Eli Lilly (LLY) for about $5.4B. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers following their earnings reports were streaming video service Netflix (NFLX), which advanced almost 6%, and motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson (HOG), which rose 8%. Companies that slid following their earnings reports included printer maker Lexmark (LXK), which fell over 11%, and Pentair (PNR), which dropped almost 6%. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 106.77, or 0.65%, to 16,556.02, the Nasdaq was up 45.95, or 1.11%, to 4,167.50, and the S&P 500 was up 11.59, or 0.62%, to 1,883.48.
11:22 EDTMRKAnalysts think Valeant bid for Allergan could spur higher offer, rival deal
After Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) teamed with hedge fund Pershing Square to make a hostile takeover offer for Allergan (AGN), analysts' opinion on the fallout varied, with one firm suggesting Allergan could pursue its own takeover as a defense and another believing Valeant will be pushed to raise its offer. WHAT'S NEW: Valeant, in partnership with Bill Ackman's Pershing Square, offered to combine with Allergan for $48.30 in cash and 0.83 shares of Valeant stock for each share of Allergan. Allergan has confirmed it received the offer and said that it would evaluate the proposal. ANALYST OPINION: In a note to investors, Wells Fargo stated that it believes that Valeant's low tax rate will enable it to raise its bid. Moreover, one or more big pharmaceutical companies, such as Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) or Merck (MRK), could launch a competing bid for Allergan, added Wells. The firm believes that Allergan could ultimately be purchased for $165 per share. Research firm Jefferies said it expects Allergan's board to oppose Valeant's takeover attempt. The firm suggested that Allergan could seek to fend off Valeant's takeover attempt by acquiring Shire (SHPG) or Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ). Jefferies kept a Hold rating on Allergan. BMO Capital similarly believes that Valeant will have to overcome significant hurdles in order to complete the deal. The management teams of the two companies have different views and Allergan's business could be damaged by significant cost cutting following the deal, according to the firm. Nonetheless, it kept an Outperform rating on the Botox maker. PRICE ACTION: In mid-morning trading, Allergan rallied 15.5% to $164, Valeant gained 4.4% to $133, Jazz shares rose 6.4% to $147.18 and Shire added 4.8% to $158.62.
06:11 EDTMRKWells says big pharma bidders could emerge for Allergan
Wells Fargo believes Allergan (AGN) wants to remain independent and says the "hurdle to convince the company to sell could be pretty high." Wells thinks Valeant's (VRX) low tax rate gives it room to raise its bid for Allergan, and it sees the potential for one or more big pharma bidders, such as Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) or Merck (MRK), emerging due to Allergan's "attractive eye care and aesthetics portfolio and pipeline." Wells believes a purchase price for Allergan of $50B or $165 per share could be justified.
April 21, 2014
07:21 EDTMRKFDA Pediatric Advisory Committee to hold a meeting
The Committee discusses pediatric-focused safety reviews including MDT's Activa Dystonia Therapy, (BAX's Advate and Tisseel, NVS' Famvir, Tibotec's (JNJ subsidiary) Intelence, UCB Pharma's Keppra, MRK's Maxalt, BAYRY's Natazia, Digestive Care's Pertzye, JNJ's Prezista, BMY's Reyataz, SNY's Sklice, PFE's Torisel, Aptalis' Ultresa, and GILD's Viread in a meeting being held in Bethesda, Maryland on April 21 at 8 am. Webcast Link
April 19, 2014
11:12 EDTMRKLeerink's pharma and biotech analysts hold an analyst/industry conference call
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April 17, 2014
13:50 EDTMRKFDA approves Ragwitek for short ragweed pollen allergies
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April 15, 2014
08:23 EDTMRKLeerink's pharma and biotech analysts hold an analyst/industry conference call
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08:19 EDTMRKLeerink's pharma and biotech analysts hold an analyst/industry conference call
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06:32 EDTMRKPatients paying much more for specialty drugs, NY Times says
The amount that patients with certain diseases must pay for specialty drugs has increased significantly, a research firm reported, according to The New York Times. Meanwhile, consumers' use of health care increased in 2013 for the firm time in three years, the newspaper quoted the firm, the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, as saying. Publicly traded drug makers include AstraZeneca (AZN), Bristol-Myers (BMY), Eli Lilly (LLY), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Merck (MRK), Novartis (NVS), Pfizer (PFE), Roche (RHHBY) and Sanofi (SNY). Publicly traded health insurers include AMERIGROUP (AGP), Aetna (AET), Centene (CNC), Cigna (CI), Health Net (HNT), Healthspring (HS), Humana (HUM), Molina Healthcare (MOH), UnitedHealth (UNH), WellCare (WCG) and WellPoint (WLP).Reference Link
April 14, 2014
18:00 EDTMRKU.S. FDA approves Merck's GRASTEK
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06:08 EDTMRKMerck volatility elevated into Q1 and outlook
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April 11, 2014
05:22 EDTMRKMerck says Hepatitis C combination therapy shows antiviral activity
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April 10, 2014
17:44 EDTMRKMerck stock could return 20%, Barron's says
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09:37 EDTMRKActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open according to Track Data: SIRI RAD AAPL AMZN AA FB TSLA MRK CVX C
09:21 EDTMRKOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
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08:03 EDTMRKXencor Merck receives milestone payment from Merck for using XmAb antibody
Xencor (XNCR) announced that the company has received a milestone payment from Merck (MRK), through a subsidiary, triggered by the initiation of a Phase 1 clinical trial for an undisclosed biologic drug candidate that uses Xencor's XmAb antibody engineering intellectual property. Under the terms of the agreement signed in June 2013, Xencor granted Merck a non-exclusive license to certain Xencor patents for use in an undisclosed product, as well as an option to license the same intellectual property for future products. Xencor received an upfront payment and continues to receive annual maintenance fees. Xencor is also eligible to receive milestone payments associated with the successful development of Merck product candidates, as well as royalties on sales of any potential products that may result from this agreement.
05:27 EDTMRKMerck announces data from C-WORTHy study
Merck announced additional data from the ongoing C-WORTHy study, a multi-arm Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of a once-daily, all-oral regimen combining MK-5172, an investigational hepatitis C virus, or HCV, NS3/4A protease inhibitor, and MK-8742, an investigational HCV NS5A replication complex inhibitor, among patients with chronic HCV Genotype 1 infection, or GT1. In an interim analysis of treatment-na´ve, non-cirrhotic patients administered a 12-week regimen of MK-5172/MK-8742, with and without ribavirin, or RBV, a sustained viral response, or SVR, was observed in 98% of patients administered MK-5172/MK-8742 alone and 94% in those administered MK-5172/MK-8742 plus RBV.

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