Merck heralds a rare Big Pharma success for antibiotic PhIII, but it’s also a cautionary tale about the market
When Merck $MRK bought out Cubist close to 5 years ago for $9.5 billion, the sell-side crowd stoked considerable enthusiasm for Zerbaxa, a late-stage antibiotic that was tapped for peak sales in the lofty blockbuster range of $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion or so.
Today, Merck boasted that their antibiotic (ceftolozane and tazobactam) — already OK’d several years ago for complicated urinary tract infections — scored in a late-stage non-inferiority showdown with meropenem for either ventilated hospital-acquired bacterial pneumonia or ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia.
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