Transparency/Disclosure: I was compensated modestly by ChromaDex Corporation to write this article. While I have vetted each company, researched it thoroughly and I’ve done my own due diligence, my due diligence is not a substitute for your own.
Merck (MRK) has recently endured a few difficulties within the pharmaceutical industry, from drugs not passing FDA approval, to increased competition from generic drugs. These struggles lead me to believe it is smart to stay away from Merck stock, though I think investors should still keep an eye on the company. I do see room for a change in strategy for Merck, which could lead to improvements in profitability and shareholder value.
Merck has recently faced a setback regarding its experimental treatment for bone cancer. According to its exclusive license agreement with Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA), Merck is responsible for the development and commercialization of the treatment, called ridaforolimus. The Food and Drug Administration recently rejected the application for investigational treatment using ridaforolimus for patients with soft tissue or bone sarcoma. This treatment is meant to slow the growth of bone cancer in patients who have already received chemotherapy.
The ridaforolimus drug is intended to compete with GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) drug Votrient, originally a kidney cancer pill that has recently been approved for use on soft-tissue sarcoma cancers. While Votrient halted the spread of the cancer for about three months longer than the placebo treatment, ridaforolimus only slowed the spread three weeks longer, and some patients experienced heart, liver, and kidney disorders. To continue reading, click here.