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  • 09/06/2017 10:28:43

    Merck to buy privately-held biotech Rigontec for 115 mln euros upfront

    Merck & Co. said Wednesday that it will acquire privately-held biotech Rigontec for €115 million ($137 million) upfront to Rigontec's shareholders and up to €349 million ($416 million) in additional milestone-contingent payments. Germany-based Rigontec develops RNA-based immunotherapeutics to treat cancer and viral diseases. The company's approach "complements our strategy and our current pipeline," said Merck Research Laboratories' Dr. Eric Rubin. "We think this is an interesting early stage deal that has potential synergy with other [immuno-oncology] agents, although there may be some safety concerns related to immune stimulation in general," said EvercoreISI analyst Umer Raffat. Raffat also noted that it's an early-stage deal: Rigontec's lead product is currently in early-stage trials with an expected readout by the end of 2019. Merck shares rose 0.5% in light trade midday Wednesday. Shares have declined 1.1% over the last three months, compared with a 1.4% rise in the S&P 500 .Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 08/17/2017 10:59:47

    Reps. Cummings, Welch to launch investigation into multiple sclerosis drug prices

    Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said Thursday morning that they are launching an investigation into multiple sclerosis drug prices, and have sent letters to seven pharmaceutical companies about their pricing strategies. Letters were sent to Bayer AG , Biogen Inc. , Merck & Co.'s EMD Serono, Novartis AG , Sanofi SA , Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Roche Holding AG . Biogen shares declined 2.9% in heavy midday trade and Teva shares declined 1.1% in moderate trade. The lawmakers asked for information to evaluate multiple sclerosis drugs' "substantial price increases, including information about corporate profits and expenses and documents concerning pricing strategies, patient assistance programs, and drug distribution systems," and requested a response by the end of the month. The average price of a multiple sclerosis disease-modifying therapy rose from $16,000 in 2004 to about $84,000 in 2017, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (the numbers refer to average wholesale price, which does not reflect often-substantial discounts and rebates). Prices for drugs sold by the seven drugmakers have increased by as much as 1,002% since 2012, according to information from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society cited by the two representatives. The lawmakers said that their letter referred to an American Academy of Neurology study that found "some drug companies appear to be increasing their prices and setting new, higher prices in lockstep in competitors," which may reflect a phenomenon called "shadow pricing" in which companies respond to eachothers' price increases. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 08/16/2017 12:32:04

    Dollar takes it on the chin as Trump dissolves business advisory panels

    A popular gauge of the dollar reversed course on Wednesday, turning negative, following afternoon news that a pair of advisory council's to President Donald Trump was being disbanded amid a wave of high-profile CEO departures. The ICE dollar index , which measures the buck against six major currencies, dropped 0.3% to 93.5170, falling into negative territory as reports of the dissolution of the advisory panels, consisting of top Wall Street executives, broke. CEOs, including Merck & Co.'s head Kenneth Frazier, quit one of the president's manufacturing panels in reaction to Trump's Saturday response to a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend, which resulted in the death of one woman. Late Tuesday, the president placed blame on "both sides" for the violent clashes, fomenting concerns that he is implicitly advocating for white nationalists and leading to additional departures on Wednesday. Trump announced that both the manufacturing council and the strategy & policy forum will be terminated in a tweet, after reports that suggested that discussions about their dissolution were already in the works. The dollar gauge's losses accelerated after Fed minutes were released on at 2 p.m. Eastern, suggesting that the central bank was hesitant to commit to dollar-boosting policy amid sluggish inflation. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 08/15/2017 09:54:26

    Fourth leader steps down from Trump's manufacturing council

    A fourth individual stepped down from President Donald Trump's manufacturing advisory council on Tuesday in the wake of his response to violence in Charlottesville, Va. The latest to exit is Scott Paul, head of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, a partnership between manufacturers and the United Steelworkers union. Paul said on Twitter it was "the right thing for him to do." He joins the chief executives of Merck & Co. , Intel Corp. and Under Armour Inc. in quitting the council. Trump said in a tweet shortly before Paul's that he has "many" CEOs to replace those who leave. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 08/14/2017 22:12:48

    Three CEOs resign from Trump council over Charlottesville

    (Reuters) - The chief executives of Intel Corp, Merck & Co Inc and Under Armour Inc resigned from U.S. President Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council on Monday, following Trump's initially tepid response to weekend violence at a rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

  • 08/14/2017 21:59:00

    UPDATE 10-Three CEOs resign from Trump council over Charlottesville

    Aug 14 (Reuters) - The chief executives of Intel Corp , Merck & Co Inc and Under Armour Inc resigned from U.S. President Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council on Monday, following Trump's initially tepid response to weekend violence at a rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

  • 08/14/2017 14:07:02

    Dow closes up 135 points as North Korea tensions ease

    U.S. stock benchmarks rallied Monday, as a recent aversion to assets considered risky on the back of fears about tensions between the U.S. and North Korea receded somewhat. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up by 0.6% to end at 21,993, led by about jumps in shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Apple Inc. . The S&P 500 index advanced 1% at 2,466, buoyed by a 1.4% surge in financials and 1.6% surge in the technology sector [s:XLK], while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.3% at 6,340--its best daily raise since June 28. The rebound in equities follows one of the worst weeks in U.S. stock benchmarks in months, and also comes after a weekend of violence in Charlottesville, Va., which was the scene of angry clashes centered on a white-supremacist rally that left one person dead. Shares of Merck & Co. Inc. rose 0.5% as CEO Kenneth Frazier resigned from President Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council, citing his disagreement with POTUS's response to the Virginia violence. In other corporate news, shares of Tesla Inc. rose nearly 1.7% higher after Baird analyst Ben Kallo, a longtime Tesla bull, hiked his price target for the electric-car maker's stock to $411 from $368. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 08/14/2017 13:59:29

    Dow jumps about 130 points as North Korea tensions ease

    U.S. stock benchmarks rallied Monday afternoon, as a recent aversion to assets considered risky on the back of fears about tensions between the U.S. and North Korea receded somewhat. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6% around 22,000, led by about jumps in shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Visa Inc.. The S&P 500 index advanced 1% at 2,466, buoyed by a 1.1% surge in the financials and technology sectors [s:XLK], and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.4% at 6,341. The rebound in equities follows one of the worst weeks in U.S. stock benchmarks in months, and also comes after a weekend of violence in Charlottesville, Va., which was the scene of angry clashes centered on a white-supremacist rally that left one person dead. Shares of Merck & Co. Inc. rose 0.6% as CEO Kenneth Frazier resigned from President Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council, citing his disagreement with POTUS's response to the Virginia violence. In other corporate news, shares of Tesla Inc. rose nearly 2% higher after Baird analyst Ben Kallo, a longtime Tesla bull, hiked his price target for the electric-car maker's stock to $411 from $368. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 08/14/2017 10:32:51

    Merck CEO resigns from Trump council over Charlottesville

    (Reuters) - Merck & Co Inc Chief Executive Kenneth Frazier resigned from U.S. President Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council on Monday, saying he was taking a stand against intolerance and extremism.

  • 08/14/2017 10:07:13

    UPDATE 4-Merck CEO resigns from Trump council over Charlottesville

    Aug 14 (Reuters) - Merck & Co Inc Chief Executive Kenneth Frazier resigned from U.S. President Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council on Monday, saying he was taking a stand against intolerance and extremism.

  • 08/14/2017 08:47:06

    Dow jumps 150 points as North Korea tensions ease

    U.S. stock benchmarks rallied on Monday, as a recent aversion to assets considered risky on the back of fears about tensions between the U.S. and North Korea receded somewhat. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7% above 22,000, led by a more than 2% jump in shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. . The S&P 500 index advanced 1% at 2,463, buoyed by a 1.1% surge in the financials and technology sectors [s:XLK], and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.2% at 6,324. The rebound in equities follows a one of the worst weeks in U.S. stock benchmarks in months, and also comes after a weekend of violence in Charlottesville, Va., which was the scene of angry clashes centered on a white-supremacist rally that left one person dead. Shares of Merck & Co. Inc. rose 0.8% as CEO Kenneth Frazier resigned from the President Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council, citing his disagreement with POTUS's response to the Virginia violence. In other corporate news, shares of Tesla Inc. rose nearly 2% higher after Baird analyst Ben Kallo, a longtime Tesla bull, hiked his price target for the electric-car maker's stock to $411 from $368. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 08/14/2017 08:12:06

    Dow jumps 140 points as North Korea tensions ease

    U.S. stock benchmarks rallied on Monday, as a recent aversion to assets considered risky on the back of fears about tensions between the U.S. and North Korea receded somewhat. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7% at 22,000, led by a more than 2% jump in shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. . The S&P 500 index advanced 0.9% at 2,463, buoyed by a 1.1% surge in the financials and technology sectors [s:XLK], and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.1% at 6,324. The rebound in equities follows a one of the worst weeks in U.S. stock benchmarks in months, and also comes after a weekend of violence in Charlottesville, Va., which was the scene of angry clashes centered on a white-supremacist rally that left one person dead. Shares of Merck & Co. Inc. rose 0.8% as CEO Kenneth Frazier resigned from the President Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council, citing his disagreement with POTUS's response to the Virginia violence. In other corporate news, shares of Tesla Inc. rose nearly 2% higher after Baird analyst Ben Kallo, a longtime Tesla bull, hiked his price target for the electric-car maker's stock to $411 from $368. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 08/14/2017 07:25:04

    Merck CEO to resign from President's American Manufacturing Council two days after Charlottesville violence

    Merck & Co. Inc. Chief Executive Kenneth Frazier said early Monday, two days after Saturday's deadly violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that he is resigning from the President's American Manufacturing Council. "Our country's strength stems from its diversity and the contributions made by men and women of different faiths, races, sexual orientations and political beliefs. America's leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people area created equal," Frazier said in a statement. "As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism." After white nationalists marched in Charlottesville on Saturday, counter protesters gathered in response and violence broke out. One person was killed and nearly 20 were injured when a car plowed into another vehicle near a counterprotestor group, according to the New York Times, and at least 34 people were injured total that day. ""We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides - on many sides," President Donald Trump said. The president was widely condemned for failing to specifically condemn white supremacists. Other corporate executives, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk, have also left White House councils as a response to presidential actions. Merck shares were up nearly 1% premarket. Shares have surged 6% year-to-date, compared with a 9% rise in the S&P 500 .Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 07/28/2017 06:44:28

    Merck expects June cyberattack to affect company's 2017 financial performance

    Merck & Co. Inc. said Friday that a network cyberattack in late June caused it to issue conservative 2017 guidance. The June 27 cyberattack disrupted the company's global operations, including manufacturing, research and sales, and Merck said it has been working to restore operations. Merck said it "does not yet know the magnitude of the impact of the disruption," but that guidance would have been higher if not for the cyberattack's impact. Merck said it can continue to supply its top products, including cancer drug Keytruda and diabetes drug Januvia, but there will be temporary delays in some other products in certain markets. Merck, which reported second-quarter profit and revenue beats on Friday, also affirmed its 2017 adjusted EPS outlook of $3.76 to $3.88, with Chief Financial Officer Robert Davis saying that "the strength of the business has allowed us to absorb the potential impact from the cyber attack," according to the FactSet earnings call transcript. Merck was one of several global companies hit by massive cyberattacks in late June. Merck shares lifted 0.4% in premarket trade Friday. Shares surged 2.2% over the last three months, compared with a 3.8% rise in the S&P 500 .Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 07/28/2017 05:12:20

    Merck profit tops estimates as Keytruda sales surge

    Merck & Co Inc's(MRK) quarterly profit blew past analysts' estimates on Friday as sales of its key immuno-oncology drug Keytruda nearly tripled. Sales of Keytruda, which works by taking the brakes off the immune system, rose to $881 million in the second quarter, handily beating consensus estimates of $777 million, according to Barclays.

  • 07/28/2017 04:59:28

    Merck profit and sales rise, beat expectations amid big jump in Keytruda sales

    Merck & Co. reported Friday a second-quarter net profit that rose to $1.95 billion, or 71 cents a share, from $1.21 billion, or 43 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, the drug giant said adjusted earnings per share came to $1.01, beating the FactSet consensus of 87 cents. Revenue rose 1% to $9.93 billion from $9.84 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $9.75 billion. Among Merck's top selling drugs, Januvia/Janumet revenue fell 8% to $1.51 billion, missing the FactSet consensus of $1.62 billion, while Keytruda revenue nearly tripled to $881 million, beating expectations of $787.5 million. For 2017, Merck affirmed its adjusted EPS outlook of $3.76 to $3.88, but revised its revenue guidance higher to $39.4 billion to $40.4 billion from $39.1 billion to $40.3 billion. "We continued to deliver strong results in the second quarter, driven by robust momentum for KEYTRUDA and good progress with other products in our portfolio," said Chief Executive Kenneth Frazier. The stock was indicated up about 1% in premarket trade. It has climbed 8.2% year to date, while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF has run up 15.4% and the S&P 500 has gained 10.6%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 07/05/2017 15:39:05

    UPDATE 1-FDA puts hold on Merck multiple myeloma trials after deaths

    July 5 (Reuters) - Merck & Co said on Wednesday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had placed a clinical hold on three multiple myeloma studies testing its Keytruda in combination with other medicines for the blood cancer after more deaths were reported in patients receiving the Merck immunotherapy.

  • 07/05/2017 14:50:08

    Merck shares slip as 3 blood-cancer drug studies halted by FDA

    Merck & Co. shares declined in the extended session Wednesday after the drugmaker said the Food and Drug Administration halted three clinical studies of a blood cancer drug because of deaths in the studies. Merck shares declined 1.3% to $63.30 after hours. The three studies involve Keytruda, which is being studied to treat blood cancer multiple myeloma patients. Merck said the FDA determined that the risks of the drug in the affected studies outweighed any potential benefits. Patients in the affected studies will no longer receive the drug. Merck said that other clinical studies for Keytruda were unaffected by the FDA clinical hold. Back in June, Merck announced that it was halting new patient enrollment in two of the studies. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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