Put another win in Merck's
Yesterday, Merck received Food and Drug Administration approval for Dulera, an asthma treatment developed by Schering-Plough, which it purchased last year.
Dulera is a combination of two drugs currently sold by Merck to treat asthma: Asmanex and Foradil, the latter of which is marketed outside the U.S. by Novartis
Combining a steroid with a LABA puts Dulera in line with AstraZeneca's
Dulera could also see a sales boost if it's approved as a treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Foradil, one of the two components of Dulera, is already approved to treat COPD. Advair and Symbicort, which are both blockbusters, are also approved to treat the lung disease, as is Spiriva from Pfizer
Dulera is a good start for Merck, but the biggest potential benefit from acquiring Schering-Plough's pipeline is yet to come. Phase 3 data from Schering's hepatitis C treatment, boceprevir, is set to read out later this year. Everyone expects boceprevir to work, but whether it'll top the bar set by Vertex Pharmaceuticals'
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