Merck & Co. is putting the prevailing theory on the cause of Alzheimer’s to a test with two studies in thousands of people that may, once and for all, determine whether the amyloid tangles that grow in the brain spur the disease or are simply an outgrowth.
Merck & Co. ’s Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Frazier , who took over the top leadership role on Jan. 1, said the company will make “tough” research spending decisions while developing innovative products.
Merck & Co. , the second largest U.S. drugmaker, forecast 2011 earnings that missed analyst estimates and posted a fourth-quarter loss after taking a $1.7 billion charge to write down its experimental blood thinner.
Merck & Co., facing generic competition in August to its top-selling asthma drug Singulair, reported second-quarter profit that beat analyst estimates on higher sales of the diabetes medicines Januvia and Janumet.
New chief executive officers at Merck & Co. and Pfizer Inc ., torn between profit demands of investors and the long-term funding needs of drug innovation, have chosen opposing strategies for future investment in research.