Monday, February 2, 2015

Pete Loftus -- On What To Watch For, Wednesday Morning -- My Buddy, At The WSJ. . .

Should be a solid Q4 2014. But I'd expect significant currency headwinds at the sales line, going forward.

Do go read all of his fine rundown:

. . . .This will be the first full quarter of sales for Merck’s new cancer immunotherapy Keytruda, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in September to treat advanced melanoma. It was the first U.S. launch of a new class of drugs known as PD-1 inhibitors, which work by unleashing the body’s immune system against tumors and have shown promise in clinical trials. The sales number should be relatively small -- Leerink Partners estimates $40 million -- but investors also will be looking for updates on Merck’s development of Keytruda as a treatment for lung cancer, a far bigger market segment. Merck said this month it was accelerating plans to seek regulatory approval to market Keytruda for lung cancer, and will submit an application around midyear. Merck is counting on newer drugs like Keytruda to eventually help reverse yearly sales declines since 2012 fueled by patent expirations for top-selling drugs. . . .

We will live blog it -- for anything surprising and material. Count on that.

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