Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Could Struggle To Hit Health Care Heights

German health care company Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) has high hopes on its mission to successfully develop its anti-PDL1 immuno- oncology treatment with joint efforts from Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE).

The project will put the German Pharmaceutical company on a path to one of the most competitive and sought after sectors of the health care department. So far, the company has not had such an opportunity. The new venture and partnership looks promising for the company’s future.

The lack of a competitive edge has resulted to less than impressive performance. The company’s quarterly report showed that Merck has been facing some tough times. Its major product that is a multiple sclerosis drug called Rebif experienced a sharp 15% decline. Despite the drop, the drug still managed to rake up most of the company’s health care earnings.

The company has been engaging in active measures to ensure a turnaround in performance. The most recent of these efforts is the acquisition of AZ Electronic Materials which took place last year. The firm is still in the process of buying out Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (NASDAQ:SIAL) in a deal worth close to€13.1 billion deal.

Merck has been very busy with these efforts. The company has also allocated more funds towards more research and development for its drugs, in an effort to keep up with the competition. Merck has some serious competition from rivals such as Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY).

The company has a series of drug development programs which it plans to initiate before the end of the year. Merck estimates that it will spend roughly €1.4 billion on research and development in 2015.

Merck hopes that the new partnership with Pfizer will yield great results that will be instrumental for the company’s future performance. If things go as planned, Merck will be at a better position to reap more profits. The pharmaceutical industry has been characterized by many mergers and news about recent drug trials for various conditions. Merck looks to be promising with such news in the near future.

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John is a special projects and general assignment reporter, noted for breaking several exclusive stories.

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