Archive: April, 2012
Merck reported a 67 percent profit increase Friday for the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2011, despite lower sales than some analysts predicted.
The global drug maker, which is based in Whitehouse Station, N.J. and has big operations in the Philadelphia suburbs, got the profit bump by spending less.
"We're trying to manage our cost structure going forward," Merck chief executive officer Ken Frazier said in a conference call with Wall Street analysts.
AstraZeneca chief executive officer David Brennan said Thursday he would retire June 1 in the wake of another difficult quarter for the pharmaceutical manufacturer.
AstraZeneca is based in the United Kingdom and released disappointing first-quarter first-quarter earnings along with Brennan's news before the markets opened in London.
AstraZeneca's U.S. headquarters is in Wilmington and it has a plant in Newark, Del.
GlaxoSmithKline said Wednesday that first-quarter, after-tax profit dropped about 13 percent compared to the first quarter of 2011.
The global pharmaceutical manufacturer is based in London, but has operations in Center City and in Philadelphia suburbs.
The decline can be attributed at least partially to the absence of the one-time payment in 2011 for GSK's interest in Quest, the U.S. laboratory diagnostic company.
Pfizer and AstraZeneca both made deals official Monday morning.
Pfizer said early Monday morning that it has entered an agreement to sell its infant nutrition business to Nestle for $11.85 billion in cash.
That segment of Pfizer had revenues of about $2.1 billion in 2011, an increase of 15 percent from 2010.
Merck was fined $321,636,000 Thursday by U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris in Boston after pleading guilty in December to one misdemeanor count related to its promotion and marketing of the painkiller Vioxx, the Justice Department said Thursday afternoon.
In November 2011, Merck settled civil charges under which it agreed to pay $628,364,000 over additional allegations regarding off-label marketing of Vioxx and false statements about the drug’s cardiovascular safety.
The $950 million total in fines closes the case, the Justice Department said.
Biotech drugmaker Human Genome Sciences, Inc., said Thursday morning that it received an unsolicited takeover proposal from GlaxoSmithKline for $13 per share, which amounts to nearly $2.6 billion.
Human Genome Sciences is based in Rockville, Md., and has been a partner with GSK in development of the lupus drug Benlysta.
The offer was an 81 percent premium to HGS's Wednesday closing price of $7.17 per share.
The European Commission announced Thursday morning that it had approved Johnson & Johnson's $21.3 billion purchase of medical device manufacturer Synthes, Inc., which has its U.S. headquarters and facilities in Chester County.
The commission was reviewing the acquisition on antitrust grounds amid the concerns that the combined company would dominate competition.
In statement on the commission's web site, vice president in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia said the key to approval was J&J's decision to sell the trauma products from its DePuy division to Biomet for $280 million.