Merck Q4 profits soar on back of Serono purchase
FRANKFURT, Germany Merck recently released its fourth quarter and full year report for 2007.
For the quarter, the company’s profit soared to $4.9 billion from $190.7 million during the same quarter last year, based mostly from the benefits of its acquisition of Serono and the selling of its generic drug unit to Mylan. For the year, the company’s net profit was $5.1 billion, up from $1.47 billion in 2006.
The selling of the generic drug unit allowed the company to be “able to repay essentially all the debt resulting from the purchase of Serono after less than one year,” according to the company.
“For Merck, 2007 was a year of major accomplishments—the successful integration of Serono, the sale of generics and a capital increase, resulting in a very low net debt at year end,” according to chief executive Karl-Ludwig Kley. The Merck Serono division saw its pharmaceutical sales more than double to $6.5 billion from $2.8 billion in 2006, based on the Serono deal.
Kley also said that given its performance so far and its outlook for 2008 even “in these uncertain economic times, we expect 2008 will be another year of solid growth for Merck.” The company said it expects revenue to grow between 5 percent and 9 percent by the end of the year.
Accu-Break issues two new patents for their tablet-making technologies
PLANTATION, Fla. Accu-Break Pharmaceuticals announced the recent issuance of two patents for its Accu-Break technologies on Thursday. Accu-Break is widely known for its innovation in tablet formation that includes customized and individualized dosing, for patients that need specific amounts of a drug inserted for certain medications.
The first-patent involves a tablet designed for patients with combination doses that allows them to ingest only one tablet with two different medications. The new technology enables the medications to be separated by splitting the tablet through a drug free layer. This would also be helpful in combining two different medications that are not necessarily compatible with one another, without mixing them together.
The second patent, according to published reports, will include divisible tablets which would provide an accurate partial-dose of active ingredients within the tablet, which is useful for titration and doseage adjustment.
“The Company views the issuance of these patents as key to both our own product development and the worldwide licensing of our innovative tablet technologies,” said ABP’s chief executive officer, Allan Kaplan. “The granting of these patents should bode well for additional pending applications that cover, among other things, new and complimentary tablet technologies.”
Financials show Icahn had sold his shares in Genzyme
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Carl Icahn has apparently decided to leave Genzyme alone after regulatory filings released Thursday showed that the investor sold his shares in the company late last year, according to published reports.
Icahn’s investment firm, Icahn Capital Management, reported that it owned 1.5 million shares of Genzyme, or less than 1 percent of the stock, at the end of September, but sold its stake by the end of December. The filings didn’t indicate exactly when Icahn bought or sold the stock, but he likely turned a profit as Genzyme shares rose 20 percent in the fourth quarter, when Icahn sold his shares.
Genzyme had been getting pressure from Icahn to either sell off or break up the company, to which Genzyme chief executive Henri Termeer took offense and made it a priority to not bow down to Ichan.
Icahn, though, should not be worried; he has already won battles at some other biotech companies. He took control of ImClone Systems board in 2006. And last year, MedImmune agreed to sell itself to drug maker AstraZeneca for $15.6 billion after Icahn pushed for a sale. And now more recently, it is apparent he has his sights on Biogen Idec after he recently nominated three people for election to its board in late December.