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Must-Read Notes on Merck & Co.’s 4Q17 and 2017 Earnings

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Part 5
Must-Read Notes on Merck & Co.’s 4Q17 and 2017 Earnings PART 5 OF 10

Merck’s Diabetes Products in 4Q17

Merck’s diabetes products

Merck & Co.’s (MRK) diabetes products include blockbuster drugs Januvia (sitagliptin) and Janumet (sitagliptin and metformin HCl). Both drugs are used to control the blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes. The chart below shows the revenues for Januvia and Janumet since 1Q16.

Merck’s Diabetes Products in 4Q17

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Januvia and Janumet 

Januvia and its combination drug Janumet are DPP-4 inhibitors. DPP-4 enzymes are the Dipeptidyl Peptidase-4 enzymes which destroy hormone incretin in the human body. DPP-4 inhibitors help to increase incretin which increases the production of insulin when needed and reduces the glucose levels when not needed by the body.

The combined revenues of these drugs in 4Q17 totaled ~$1.52 billion for 1.0% growth compared to ~$1.51 million in 4Q16.

Januvia reported revenues of $938.0 million in 4Q17 for 1.0% growth compared to revenues of $932.0 million in 4Q16. Janumet reported revenues of $586.0 million in 4Q17 for ~2.0% growth compared to revenues of $577.0 million in 4Q16.

Other drugs available in the market for lowering blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes are Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (BMY) and AstraZeneca’s (AZN) co-developed drug Onglyza as well as AstraZeneca’s (AZN) drug Kombiglyze.

Other diabetes products

On December 22, 2017, the FDA approved the drugs Steglatro (ertugliflozin) and fixed-dose combination Steglujan (ertugliflozin and sitagliptin) tablets for the use in adults with type 2 diabetes. These drugs are co-developed by Merck and Pfizer (PFE).

Steglatro helps improve the glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Steglujan helps improve the glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus in cases when treatment with both drugs (ertugliflozin and sitagliptin) are considered appropriate.

The FDA also approved Segluromet (ertugliflozin and metformin HCl), which helps improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes in cases when the sugar levels are not controlled effectively by ertugliflozin or metformin HCl.

Steglatro, Steglujan, and Segluromet are expected to be marketed by Merck & Co. in the United States.

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