Of Merck — My “Told Ya’ So!” Moment: IMPROVE-IT Likely Comes In 2014 — Morgan Stanley’s Analyst Report

I quote this morning from Benzinga’s wire stories — which, in turn reports on an updated Morgan Stanley analyst outlook:

. . . .Morgan Stanley says, “We raise our PT on MRK from $34 to $37, based on extending our model through 2020 and pushing IMPROVE-IT-driven Vytorin cliff from 2013 to 2014. We maintain 60% odds that IMPROVE-IT fails to show Vytorin is better than Zocor. . . .”

Do go read it all, but as you can tell from my graphic, I’ve long held (since 2008) that the effects of IMPROVE-IT won’t be known until 2014 — that is 687 days, 58 minutes and 10 seconds from the moment I write this(!).

With Whitehouse Station lately saying openly that it will get an interim look at the 75 percent of events mark (strokes, cardiac events, etc.), Wall Street seems to be betting that the 75 percent of events data will be inconclusive (as to outcome benefits) — so, Merck will need to finish the study, and run it until all events are known. And even then, sometime in 2014, it may well be that no statistically significant outcome benefit is seen. In fact, Morgan Stanley puts the odds of that “ultimate null result” outcome at 60 percent.

So it goes.


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