Analysts Predict Lower Shares for Merck as FDA Investigates Januvia Pancreatic Cancer Risk
Januvia pancreatic cancer concerns may not be the only factor determining sales of the type-2 diabetes drug.
According to reports, a BMO Capital Markets analyst lowered her expectations for shares of the drug manufacturer, Merck & Co. on July 18th after taking into consideration that sales of the incretin mimetic are being hurt by competing drugs like Johnson & Johnson’s Invokana and Onglyza, which is manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca.
The company’s first quarter sales for 2013 may prove this prediction to be accurate. Merck acknowledged that Januvia sales shrank by 4% to $884 million, during the period, and the BMO Capital Markets analyst is expecting similar results when second-quarter earnings are released on July 30. Analysts expect the company to report $11.29 billion in total revenue and net income of 83 cents per share.
“Januvia will likely disappoint again,” she said.
Disappointing sales of Januvia could mean big financial trouble for Merck, which heavily relies on sales of the diabetes drug for its revenue. In the first quarter, reports show that Januvia earnings made up 12% of the company’s earnings. An article posted July 19th on Yahoo.com indicated that Merck shares plunged 73 cents to close at $47.40. Since the beginning of 2013, stock is up almost 16 percent.
Januvia Pancreatic Cancer Concerns May Impact Future Sales of Diabetes Drug
Meanwhile, incretin mimetics as a class are currently under investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for their potential to cause pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis and thyroid cancer.
In April 2013, the Institute for Safe Medicine Practices (ISMP) found that the FDA had received 18 cases of Januvia pancreatic cancer, 170 possible cases of Januvia pancreatitis and one report of Januvia thyroid cancer over a 12-month period ending in June 2012. Byetta, another incretin mimetic used to treat type-2 diabetes was named in reports of these diseases as well.
Court records indicate that as of July 2013, at least 53 lawsuits alleging pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer from use of incretin mimetics were pending in courts in the U.S, many of which name Januvia cancer side effects. A motion to consolidate claims involving this class of drugs in a single proceeding has been filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), who is scheduled to hear Oral Arguments on the issue on July 25.
File a Januvia Cancer, Pancreatitis Lawsuit
If you were diagnosed with cancer or pancreatitis after taking Januvia, you may be eligible to pursue a claim against the manufacturer. Call a lawyer at Bernstein Liebhard LLP to find out more about the dangers of Januvia and other incretin mimetics at (877) 779-1414.