In a switch, Mer­ck CEO sig­nals he’s in a deal-mak­ing frame of mind

Over the last few years, Mer­ck’s big R&D group has been con­cen­trat­ing heav­i­ly on its PD-1 su­per­star Keytru­da, for ob­vi­ous rea­sons. Af­ter jump­ing in as the num­ber two play­er be­hind Bris­tol-My­ers, the phar­ma gi­ant want­ed to take the lead — and it did.

Ma­jor new deals were put on the back burn­er, un­til re­cent­ly.

But now the com­pa­ny is chang­ing its tune, and there could be sig­nif­i­cant im­pli­ca­tions for the in­dus­try. Mer­ck CEO Ken Fra­zier led his Q3 re­port on the num­bers with what for him is an un­usu­al­ly bold com­ment:

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