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News Breaks
June 1, 2014
14:05 EDTMRKMerck presents early findings from Phase 1b study for pembrolizumab
Merck announced the first presentation of early findings from a Phase 1b study evaluating pembrolizumab, MK-3475, Merck’s investigational anti-PD-1 antibody, as a single-agent, monotherapy, in patients with PD-L1 positive, advanced head and neck cancer. Early data showed a best overall response rate of 20% with 29% of patients having stable disease as measured by RECIST criteria . Similar overall response rates were observed in Human papillomavirus, HPV-positive and HPV-negative patients – HPV infection is a risk factor for some types of head and neck cancer. In the study, tumor shrinkage was demonstrated in 51% of evaluable patients who had measurable disease with one post baseline scan, per RECIST criteria. These early findings will be presented in an oral session by Dr. Tanguy Seiwert, associate director of the Head and Neck Cancer Program and assistant professor of medicine at The University of Chicago, at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. “Recurrent and metastatic head and neck cancer carries a very poor prognosis, and often is accompanied by poor quality of life and disfigurement. Additional treatment options are urgently needed,” said Dr. Seiwert. “These early response data with pembrolizumab as monotherapy provide an encouraging proof of concept and support further study of this novel investigational immunotherapy in this hard-to-treat cancer type.” “We continue to observe robust signals of anti-tumor activity in response to pembrolizumab monotherapy across multiple tumor types and lines of therapy, including these data in head and neck cancer,” said Dr. Roy Baynes, senior vice president, global clinical development, Merck Research Laboratories. “The breadth of data to be presented at ASCO underscores why Merck is advancing a broad development program for pembrolizumab across more than 30 tumor types, including late-stage studies in head and neck and other cancers.”
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December 8, 2014
19:00 EDTMRKCubist CEO says Cubicin patent ruling will not affect Merck transaction
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18:00 EDTMRKCubist loses bid to stop Hospira's generic Cubicin after 2016, Bloomberg says
Cubist's (CBST) patent for Cubicin that expires in June 2016 upheld by judge, Bloomberg added. Note that this morning Merck (MRK) and Cubist Pharmaceuticals announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which Merck will acquire Cubist for $102 per share in cash.
17:54 EDTMRKFour Cubist Cubicin patents invalidated as Hospira wins ruling, Bloomberg says
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17:30 EDTMRKMerck acquisition of Cubist could be a 'winner', Barron's says
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17:30 EDTMRKMerck shares lower after reports of judge decision in Cubist/Hospira case
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16:24 EDTMRKOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were lower amid another drop in crude oil prices, which tumbled to five-year lows. The market opened slightly lower following weaker than expected data from China and Japan, with nothing of note on the domestic calendar to get buyers involved in the day’s activity. Near noon, the averages gained downside momentum and though the market pared its losses several times, it was never able to gain any steam to pull the indexes back into the green. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., no major economic data was released. In Asia, Chinese exports rose 4.7% from a year earlier in November, which missed the consensus estimate for an 8% increase. Chinese imports fell 6.7% from the prior year last month, compared with projections for a 3.8% increase. Additionally, Japan's revised third quarter gross domestic product estimate showed the economy shrank more than initially thought, with growth contracting an annualized 1.9%. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Cubist Pharmaceuticals (CBST) surged $26.24, or 35.29%, to $100.60 after Merck (MRK) agreed to acquire the maker of next-generation antibiotics for $102 per share in cash, or $8.4B and the assumption of $1.1B in debt. A number of other antibiotic makers also climbed, including Tetraphase (TTPH), which rose $2.45, or 8.82%, to $30.24, and Cempra (CEMP), which advanced $1.64, or 11.37%, to $16.06, while shares of Merck finished fractionally higher, adding 39c, or 0.63%, to $61.88 following the deal announcement. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers following their presentations at the American Society of Hematology, or ASH, annual meeting were Calithera Biosciences (CALA), which gained $2.38, or 22.52%, to $12.95, and Acceleron Pharma (XLRN), which jumped $5.11, or 13.6%, to $42.67. Among the noteworthy losers was McDonald's (MCD), which fell $3.70, or 3.84%, to $92.61 after the Dow member reported a 2.2% decline in global same-restaurant sales in November. Additionally, the fast-food giant warned that its fourth quarter results would be hurt by its sales pressures, supplier issues in China and a stronger U.S. dollar. Also lower were shares of Liquidity Services (LQDT), which plunged $2.77, or 27.0%, to $7.49 after the company disclosed that Wal-Mart (WMT) had terminated a deal to provide it with surplus merchandise. INDEXES: The Dow fell 106.31, or 0.59%, to 17,852.48, the Nasdaq dropped 40.06, or 0.84%, to 4,740.69, and the S&P 500 slipped 15.06, or 0.73%, to 2,060.31.
16:24 EDTMRKAmgen initiates new combination trial for talimogene laherparepvec with KEYTRUDA
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13:12 EDTMRKMerck paid full price but made good deal for Cubist, says UBS
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12:40 EDTMRKOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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12:25 EDTMRKAntibiotic makers rise after Merck agrees to buy Cubist
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08:30 EDTMRKMerck says deals with Cubist includes $250M break-up fee clause
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08:21 EDTMRKMerck says looked at all risks, including patent litgation, before Cubist deal
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08:11 EDTMRKCubist volatility elevated into Merck acquiring for $8.4B in cash
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08:08 EDTMRKMerck says about $9.5B of debt to be issued related to Cubist deal
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07:35 EDTMRKAdvaxis reports FDA acceptance of IND application for ADXS-PSA combination trial
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07:13 EDTMRKMerck to host conference call
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07:01 EDTMRKMerck to acquire Cubist for $102 per share in cash, or $9.5B
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07:00 EDTMRKMerck to acquire Cubist for $102 per share in cash
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December 7, 2014
16:29 EDTMRKMerck in discussions to buy Cubist for $7B, Bloomberg reports
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12:58 EDTMRKMerck presents KEYTRUDA data at ASH
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