WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. (AP) – Drugmaker Merck & Co. said that its integration of Schering Plough Corp. is off to a good start, with sales and other operations already combined in the top 20 companies where they operate.
Merck said it’s been building sales of key products and launching new products since the Nov. 3 acquisition.
The Whitehouse Station, N.J., company was giving analysts a daylong business briefing, the first since the deal.
“This merger is very much on track,” Chief Executive Richard Clark told analysts. “Today’s Merck is clearly succeeding. It is not just about the synergies, it’s about the science.”
Clark said Merck, now the world’s second-biggest drugmaker, is best positioned to meet unmet medical needs, launch new products and maximize shareholder return, given its broad portfolio of drugs in development and its global presence.
Merck now has four drugs awaiting approval, including ones for schizophrenia, contraception, asthma and irregular heartbeat. More than 20 other drugs are in final-stage testing, including ones for osteoporosis, allergies and heart disease.
A new leadership team also has been assembled.
Clark noted that during the last two quarters, Merck boosted its total revenue by 7 percent.
“We’re quite pleased that our global human health and animal care business showed growth,” and consumer care is poised for growth, Clark said.
Peter Kim, head of Merck Research Labs, said that with the U.S. health care overhaul enacted, Merck’s 1 1/2-year-old division to make biologic drugs, Merck BioVentures, will be able to get approval of follow-on, or generic, biotech drugs.
The company plans to make new biologic medicines and versions of existing ones that are either similar or improvements on existing biologic drugs.
Merck now has five new biologic drugs and two “biosimilar” ones in human testing and expects to have five programs in late-stage testing by 2012.
Date: May 11, 2010
Source: Associated Press