. . . .Let’s Wait for the 30,000-Patient Trial
Byline: Brian Orelli
. . . .Merck may have Vytorin 2.0 on its hands.
Multibillion-dollar Vytorin lowered bad cholesterol levels well, helping it compete with statins like Pfizer’s Lipitor or AstraZeneca’s Crestor. But Merck has failed to show that the lower cholesterol level translated into a decrease in the plaque in the arteries, and sales have sunk.
The new drug, anacetrapib, could have equally strong sales, but it’s not without risk. . . . Merck plans to start a 30,000-patient trial [called REVEAL] next year. That’ll be the true test of whether [Pfizer’s ill-starred] torcetrapib [in the same class as Merck’s Anacetrapib] was a fluke or whether the entire class of drugs is tarnished. . . .
Today’s news is certainly good for Merck, but investors should be careful translating that news into future revenue. Anacetrapib is still far from being on the market, and a lot can happen in that time. . . .
Indeed. BTW, Merck’s discussant cardiologist is certainly right about one thing: Ms. Mendes is smokin’ hot (the image he used was from a movie called “The Women“) — that photo is from his slides, of this morning (above right).