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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
May 13, 2014
05:51 EDTMRKMerck signs sale agreement for ophthalmology products in EU, Asia Pacific markets
Merck announced that it signed an agreement for Santen Pharmaceutical to purchase Merck’s ophthalmology products, COSOPT, COSOPT PF 2%/0.5%, TRUSOPT sterile ophthalmic solution 2%, TRUSOPT PF preservative-free, TIMOPTIC, TIMOPTIC PF, TIMOPTIC XE, SAFLUTAN and TAPTIQOM in Japan and key markets in Europe and Asia Pacific. Santen will make an upfront payment of approximately $600M and additional payments based on defined sales milestones as needed. The annual sales of these ophthalmology products in the markets within the scope of the agreement are approximately $400M. Santen will also purchase supply of the ophthalmology products covered by this agreement from Merck for a two- to five-year period. The agreement is subject to certain closing conditions, including obtaining antitrust clearance in Japan and other closing conditions related to specific markets or regions. The agreement is expected to close in most markets in a few months.
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July 24, 2014
08:32 EDTMRKMerck initiates Phase 3 study of Letermovir
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July 21, 2014
07:21 EDTMRKGilead could be hurt by new HCV drugs, says Wells Fargo
Noting that data on a new Merck (MRK) HCV treatment is expected in November, Wells Fargo thinks Merck's HCV drug could be combined with Gilead's (GILD) Sovaldi to shorten the duration of treatment to four weeks. Other companies could take similar actions, and Gilead's per patient revenues would be significantly reduced if this occurs, the firm warned. However, it continues to have an upbeat outlook on Gilead heading into what it sees as a strong quarter and is still upbeat on the company's long-term HCV opportunity. It keeps an Outperform rating on Gilead.
06:43 EDTMRKGrowing market for hepatitis-C treatment prompts legal scramble, WSJ says
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July 16, 2014
06:26 EDTMRKBristol-Myers lung cancer trials being underestimated, says Citigroup
After building a statistical model of Bristol-Myers' two critical registration trials for Opdivo in lung cancer, Citigroup believes the market is "materially" underestimating both Phase III trials. Citi says potential Opdivo FDA approval in 2015 in lung cancer would give Bristol-Myers an up to two year lead time versus Merck (MRK) and Roche (RHHBY). The firm estimates 2023 Opdivo revenue at $7B and reiterates a Buy rating on Bristol with a $60 price target.
July 15, 2014
11:13 EDTMRKPerrigo retreats after analyst sees limited potential buyers
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08:11 EDTMRKMerck looks to revive livestock drug Zilmax, WSJ says
Merck has been preparing to conduct a large-scale study this summer to evaluate the safety of its Zilmax feed additive, which the company pulled from the U.S. market last year over concerns in the beef industry that the drug made it difficult for some animals to walk, reported The Wall Street Journal. Reference Link
07:35 EDTMRKPerrigo potential buyers list could be limited, says Jefferies
After Globes reported that Perrigo retained an investment bank to assist with a potential merger, Jefferies says the list of potential buyers could be limited since the store brand business is fundamentally a high volume, lower margin model. The firm notes U.S. companies that currently do not have large over-the-counter divisions include Bristol-Myers (BMY), Eli Lilly (LLY) and Merck (MRK). Jefferies views the merger speculation surrounding Perrigo as not surprising given the company's strong long-term fundamentals and attractive Irish domicile. It has a Buy rating on the stock with a $160 price target.

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