Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday's Merck-Related Roundup: Ebola Vaccines; Hep C And Cubist Clean Up

So, as Cubist's CVRs are canceled, and wiped from the SEC's registration rolls (as they are no longer capable of being exercised), its convertible debt is now the subject of a tender offer, funded by its 100 per cent parent -- Merck. This will wipe the convert feature, at least as to converting into old legacy Cubist shares. I think I'd rather hold the (original issue) higher coupon on the straight debt feature, if I could, to maturity, since the credit rating behind those payments is now. . . big Merck. Just a notch below government backed paper, and yet originally issued at legacy Cubist higher borrowing rates -- if one either acquired (i) in the offering, or (ii) more than a week prior to the Merck announcement, last fall.

In other overnight news, Merck has announced it will stop selling Victrelis® in the US by year end 2015. Gilead's Solvaldi® is just so very much the better therapy option (Vertex previously did the same, for its Incivek® biologic Hep C offering -- which used to kick Merck's tail here, too).

Finally, Ebola vaccine candidate trial vials (from Merck and competing ones from GSK) -- in huge scale -- are on their way to West Africa, overnight. Good news. Be safe and have fun this fine Friday! [I'll add links for all these tidbits later today. Onward.]


Anonymous said...

on a different note, what do you think?

Condor said...

I think Elizabeth Warren is a great advocate. I respect her very much.

I do think PhRMA will beat the drums to kill this before it leaves any committee.

In fact they have begun an onslaught, already.

While I think a transfer of fines to NIH might be good for NIH's budget, it would surprise me very much if it would change the big pharma calculus here.

In cases where there is no alternative (like Gilead's Sovaldi -- in Hep C), and the government is going to have to pay for it. . .

The involved companies are effectively insulated from any real lasting pain by virtue of the fact that the will be needed -- just to keep making it available.

The fines will still be seen as a "cost of doing business" -- not always, but often.

I wish it were not true; but I am afraid that it will be. Great find!

Do stop back!