Vaccine manufacturing is a very complicated proposition -- and almost-unimaginably more complicated, when one needs to acheive the immense-scale bulk operations a blockbuster franchise biological requires -- to reach many markets in vast quantities, and in a timely fashion, to boot. Merck's biological engineeers know this only too well:
Per this morning's The Wall Street Journal -- this looks to be $320 million added back into revenue -- assuming the Whitehouse Station biological engineers have solved the bulk raw material potency problems, for good:
. . . .Merck & Co. (MRK) is back to normal shipping times for its Zostavax shingles vaccine after a year of prolonged delays caused by supply constraints for a key ingredient.
The resolution of back orders is just one milestone in Merck's attempt to bounce back from various problems plaguing its vaunted vaccines unit.
The Whitehouse Station, N.J., company cleared back orders for 10-dose packs of the vaccine in April and for single-dose shipments earlier this month, said spokeswoman Amy Rose. Merck has resumed shipping the product to doctor's offices and other health-care providers within three to five days of order placements. . . .
Thus, Merck is up about 2.5 percent on the NYSE this morning; Schering-Plough is up about half of that.