Merck’s plummeting profit reflects the company’s current struggle to get a handle back on the market, after losing exclusivity to certain popular drugs like asthma-and-allergy drug, Singulair, and Januvia, a diabetes pill. While Merck reeled in 1.431 million sales of Singulair in the second quarter of 2012, that number decreased by 80 percent for the following year, only totaling 281 million sales. This helped contribute to the company’s revenue drop of 11 percent to 11.01 billion, just shy of analysts’ forecasts of 11.22 billion.
I still think that while they partnered before, Merck is needing some new blood and I don't see why they wouldn't want to partner up again with z160. ZLCS should explore all options, but I think Merck is an option.
"We remind investors that Z160 was formerly known as MK6721 through a partnership with Merck and privately-held Neuromed. Neuromed merged with CombinatoRx in December 2009 to form Zalicus. Back in March 2006, Merck (MRK) licensed the compound (originally named NMED-160) from Neuromed for $25 million upfront and potentially as much as $450 million in milestones and royalties on sales. Unfortunately, Merck returned the rights to NMED-160 back to Neuromed in August 2007 because Phase 2 clinical studies, "Did not demonstrate the ideal pharmaceutical characteristics considered necessary to advance the compound further into development." Interestingly enough, Merck did note that no serious adverse events with NMED-160 were observed in clinical trials testing the safety and effectiveness even at doses as high as 1600 mg per day.
Despite Merck walking from the collaboration, scientists at Neuromed knew they had an effective drug if they could improve the formulation. That is exactly what Zalicus spent the past several years doing."