Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Reuters Picks Up My "Merck Morning Meme" -- "Billions At Stake" -- Adds Analysts' Color. . .

Reuters just released a news-analysis story, to the wires that echoes -- almost to the word, each of the items I'd earlier ticked off, about the coming Merck v. J&J arbitration ruling. Reuters adds significant value by sourcing pull-quotes from various stock analysts -- to back up the meme. Do go read it all, but I do love being the start of a MSM news cycle:

. . . .J&J has said it is seeking a ruling that Merck's acquisition of Schering-Plough was a change of control that triggered J&J's right to terminate the deal.

"The termination of the agreements would return full rights to Johnson & Johnson for the distribution of these products in markets outside the United States where Schering-Plough currently has the rights to distribute these products," J&J said in a statement. . . .

J&J has little to lose from its challenge outside of legal expenses, but the stakes are extremely high for Merck. The company reported $669 million in second-quarter sales from Remicade, making it one of Merck's biggest products. And Simponi, with many years' more patent life than its older cousin, may prove to be the more important bargaining chip.

"I think this is more of a Simponi story than Remicade. It's a drug that has a bright future," said Funtleyder, who sees it becoming a multibillion-dollar medicine.

Merck said in a regulatory filing that it expects a ruling within 20 days of the conclusion of the arbitration hearing. . . .

Indeed -- I'll write it; they'll read it -- and repeat it. Perfect.

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