This site is intended for health professionals only

Merck to focus on biotech drugs


Merck & Co has decided to stop development of an experimental anaemia drug but will seek approval for five new medicines in 2010.

Company officials confirmed its focus has switched to biotechnology drugs and it is working on its own versions of currently-marketed “biosimilars”. It hopes to have five undergoing late-stage tests within two years.

The decision to drop research into a long-acting form of erythropoietin – an anaemia drug similar to brands sold by Johnson & Johnson – was taken after bosses decided which of its experimental products was worth developing.

Merck’s late-stage pipeline has been strengthened after a number of experimental drugs were secured in its merger, including Thrombin Receptor Antagonist, a blood clot preventer, and promising hepatitis C treatment boceprevir.

Preladenant, an experimental treatment for Parkinson’s disease is set to begin late-stage trials while bosses are likely to seek approval in 2012 for osteoporosis drug odanacatib.

Copyright Press Association 2010
Merck & Co

Latest Issue

Be in the know
Subscribe to Hospital Pharmacy Europe newsletter and magazine