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BUSINESS
November 27, 2014 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Dr. Mel Kohn is at the intersection of the governmental, nonprofit, and corporate efforts directed at the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Kohn, who lives in Philadelphia, works for Merck & Co. in West Point, Montgomery County. He joined Merck Vaccines after 14 years of work in public health for the State of Oregon. With the drugmaker's office of corporate philanthropy funding the trip, he and Merck colleague John Grabenstein visited Sierra Leone in October as part of a group put together by the Virginia-based nonprofit Project HOPE and invited by the Sierra Leone government.
BUSINESS
November 26, 2014 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Itching to compete and join the fight to solve one of the world's most talked-about health concerns, Merck & Co. got back in the business of making Ebola vaccine Monday. The pharmaceutical giant announced that it will pay at least $30 million to license a potential drug from a small, Iowa-based company called NewLink Genetics Corp. NewLink will get a second payment of $20 million once the next phase of clinical trials starts, which might be in the first months of 2015 - a sign of the accelerated process.
BUSINESS
October 28, 2014 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
A bit more than a year after announcing plans to cut 8,500 jobs, including hundreds in the Philadelphia suburbs, Merck & Co. chief executive officer Ken Frazier said Monday that the drugmaker was on track to deliver the $2.5 billion in annual cost savings that he promised to Wall Street. "Last October, we launched a multiyear initiative to transform Merck and build a platform for sustained future growth," Frazier said in a statement. "One year later, we delivered solid third-quarter results and are making steady progress in our transformation, including divesting noncore assets, reducing our expense base, and investing in our promising new product launches and pipeline.
BUSINESS
September 24, 2014 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
The other Merck said Monday that it would spend $17 billion to buy the chemical company Sigma-Aldrich Corp., based in St. Louis. Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany, made Monday's announcement. Merck & Co. is based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., and has a big operation in Montgomery County. Both companies make pharmaceutical products. They are separate corporations now, but it was not always so. Amid the death, destruction, and fear of foreigners during World War I, the U.S. government announced in 1917 that it would seize several companies with German connections.
BUSINESS
September 15, 2014 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Merck & Co. said on Sept. 4 that the Food and Drug Administration approved what Merck said was a groundbreaking cancer treatment that it hopes will cure many patients and generate billions of dollars in revenue. On the same day, Bristol-Myers Squibb said bunk to that, alleging patent infringement in a lawsuit in federal court in Delaware, where both global pharmaceutical giants are registered. Bristol-Myers, whose version of that type of cancer drug was approved in Japan in July, hoped the legal move would thwart Merck in the industry race to sell expensive cancer medicine.
BUSINESS
September 6, 2014 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a huge boost to the research efforts of drugmaker Merck & Co., the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved a new type of drug that unlocks the body's immune system to attack cancer cells. Merck, which is based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., and employs thousands of people in Montgomery County, had staked much of its future hopes on approval and then sales, which analysts expect will generate billions of dollars a year. The chemical name of the drug is pembrolizumab and its brand name will be Keytruda.
BUSINESS
July 27, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Merck & Co., which is reorganizing to slash $2.5 billion in costs and 8,500 workers, has informed Pennsylvania officials that it will cut 600 jobs at facilities in North Wales and Lansdale. The cuts were disclosed in an official notice posted on the state Department of Labor and Industry website. According to the notice, the effective date is Aug. 26. Steven Cragle, spokesman for the Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based pharmaceutical giant, said Friday that the notice was sent in June, and that employees losing their jobs would be mostly field-based salespeople who call on family doctors and medical facilities.
BUSINESS
June 15, 2014 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Drugmaker Merck & Co. has narrowed its research focus in the hope of raising profit, but type 2 diabetes remains part of the program because the market is huge and will likely grow as Americans and people in other countries get older and heavier. Merck said Friday that it would create a "global registry" of about 20,000 patients to evaluate their real-world experience with medication, blood sugar levels, diet, exercise, use of health care, and quality of life. Merck will collaborate with academic researchers at more than 900 sites in the United States, Germany, France, and Japan.
BUSINESS
June 11, 2014 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
The drugmaker Merck & Co. said Monday that it would buy Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc. for about $3.85 billion to keep pace in the competitive and lucrative market for medicine to treat hepatitis C, which afflicts about 150 million people worldwide. Merck will pay $24.50 for each share of Idenix, which closed Friday at $7.23. The large premium reflects Merck's internal reorganization, external views of the market for liver diseases such as hepatitis, and the plans of drug rivals. Based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., but with a huge operation in Montgomery County, Merck is reorganizing.
BUSINESS
May 8, 2014 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Coppertone and Claritin, iconic health-care products for preventing sunburn and treating allergies, will get a new corporate parent under a deal announced Tuesday in which Merck & Co. will sell its over-the-counter division to Bayer AG for $14.2 billion. New Jersey-based Merck got 70 percent of its consumer division revenue from U.S. sales, but German-based Bayer expects to make more from sales elsewhere on the globe. This is the latest deal in a wave of takeovers and trades by pharmaceutical industry giants, which are scrambling to reorganize to better balance investor demands for higher profits with patient and payer demands for better products at lower prices.
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