Each week, we like to take a moment to boil down the biggest news from the most influential companies in the pharmaceuticals industry, and tell our viewers what that news means for you. We call that segment our Big Pharma Roundup.

In this week's installment, Merck (NYSE:MRK) announced it was moving its Alzheimer's drug candidate, MK-8931, into mid-stage trials. The drug is a BACE inhibitor and will be the latest attempt at gaining any ground in the fight against the widespread and devastating disease. Unfortunately, with previous industry attempts at a drug proving futile, the odds are certainly stacked against its ultimate success.

Brenton Flynn and Max Macaluso have no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Johnson & Johnson. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Elan and Johnson & Johnson. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.