Headquartered in Whitehouse Sta- tion, NJ, Merck climbed a spot to number three with 2016 revenue
of $39.8 billion. The company operates
in over 100 countries, and 55% of its total revenue comes from sales outside U.S.
markets. The global human health segment, or pharmaceuticals, is the highest
revenue-generating segment at the company and contributed nearly 88% of total
revenues. This segment includes various
franchises like oncology, vaccines, hospital
acute care, diabetes, and women’s health.
BLOCKBUSTERS LEAD THE WAY
Merck’s pharmaceuticals segment has
several blockbuster drugs with a yearly
contribution of over $1 billion each. Keytruda is part of Merck’s immuno-oncology
franchise and used to treat non-small cell
lung cancer as well as melanoma, a type
of skin cancer. Merck launched Keytruda
in the fourth quarter of 2014. Last year it
Keytruda’s global sales were $1.4 billion, a
nearly 150% growth in revenues as compared to $566 million in 2015.
Januvia and Janumet are two of Merck’s blockbuster drugs in the diabetes
franchise. These drugs are used to lower
blood sugar levels in patients with type
two diabetes and combined sales for these
drugs were $6 billion.
Remicade, a top-selling drug for the
treatment of inflammatory disorders, is
losing its market share due to the entry of
generic competitors and biosimilars following the loss of exclusivity in European
markets. Revenues fell 29% to $1.3 billion.
Simponi is another drug in the immunology franchise that saw revenues rise
11% to $766 million while the combined
revenues of cardiovascular drugs Zetia
and Vytorin fell to $3.7 billion due to the
loss of exclusivity of Vytorin in the U.S.
The Gardasil franchise is Merck’s
leading vaccines franchise for the prevention of certain strains of human papillo-mavirus (HPV). Total sales of the Gardasil
franchise in 2016 were $2.2 billion, an increase of 14%.
Merck entered a $280 million cancer col-
laboration with Complix, a biopharma-
ceutical company developing a pipeline
of protein therapeutics called alphabod-
ies for the treatment of cancer and severe
autoimmune diseases. The strategic drug
discovery collaboration through Merck’s
subsidiary, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.
(MSD), will focus on developing cell-
penetrating alphabodies (CPABs) for the
treatment of cancer. Complix will use its
proprietary Alphabody platform to de-
liver CPABs against up to two intracellular
cancer targets. MSD will fund related re-
search activities and has an option to the
exclusive, worldwide rights for any of the
Adimab entered into an agreement
with Merck to transfer its antibody technology to Merck Research Labs for the
discovery and optimization of monoclonal
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