Money is flooding into exchange- traded funds focused on health care at the fastest rate in at least six years, driven by booming biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors bringing new products to market.
Merck KGaA is increasing investment in existing products for cancer and fertility in emerging markets while waiting for its drug pipeline to mature, said Belen Garijo, head of its prescription drug unit.
Merck & Co., the second-biggest U.S. drugmaker by sales, will work with three other drugmakers to find the most-promising combination treatments for its top pipeline prospect, an immune system-based cancer medicine.
Pfizer Inc., Eli Lilly & Co. and eight other large drugmakers will partner with the U.S. government in a $230 million effort to identify new approaches to treat Alzheimer’s, diabetes, lupus and arthritis.
Chemical maker Lanxess AG, the second-worst performer on Germany’s DAX index last year, named Merck KGaA finance chief Matthias Zachert as CEO, displacing Axel Heitmann. Lanxess stock rose the most in more than two years while Merck fell the most in more than four.
Obesity drugs are getting a lift after years of languishing even as populations around the globe get heavier. Rather than pharmaceutical giants, it is small companies with an appetite for risk leading the charge.