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Hepatitis C Drug Company in Transition

By March 13, 2009

Schering-Plough, the drug company known for its cholesterol treating drugs Vytorin™ and Zetia® recently announced a merger with Merck, a drug company known for asthma and allergy medicine Singulair®. This news might be interesting for us because these companies are also involved in developing drugs for treating or preventing viral hepatitis infection. For example, Schering-Plough makes Pegintron (a pegylated interferon for treating chronic hepatitis C) and Merck has developed hepatitis vaccines for HAV and HBV. For those of you who may be concerned on the effect this merger will have on hepatitis drugs, I think this is ultimately seen as a good thing. Mergers like this have happened before with positive results (Schering-Plough, itself, bought Organon BioSciences not too long ago and Pfizer acquired Wyeth). According to the company press release, this merger will be beneficial to both companies, creating stronger research and manufacturing opportunities.
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