Merck’s Hepatitis C Combo TherapyMerck & Co., Inc. (MRK) received a breakthrough therapy status on October 22, 2013 for MK-5172 and MK-8742, the company’s first all oral-combo therapy for Hepatitis C. The treatment is currently in Phase IIB testing, a stage where the efficacy of a drug is rigorously tested. Interim data for clinical trials released on November 2 this year yielded significantly positive results. Dr. Eliav Barr, Vice President at the Merck Research Laboratories, said that he was encouraged by the preliminary data, which supports the advancement of candidates on to a broader evaluation for its next phase of testing. This drug, if approved, could lead to significant revenue gains for Merck. The New Jersey-based pharmaceutical has seen its revenues from its sale of the Hepatitis C drug, Victrelis (boceprevir), decline in the fiscal year 2012. Fewer doctors are prescribing Victrelis these days due to increased awareness of its harsh side effects.
On April 11th, 2014 - Analyst Jon Lecroy put out a Price Target of $70 for MRK shares. Price targets come and go but when this analyst puts a price target out investors tend to listen. This is because Jon Lecroy has a very good win rate on his price targets. Jon LeCroy Record
So what does all this mean? In the end investors only care about one thing EPS Growth.
A drug with 98% cure rate and a chance to become the drug of choice among prescribers means two things:
#1 Blockbuster Drug
#2 Blockbuster EPS Growth