Merck’s Januvia and Janumet: An Investor’s Perspective

Mike Benson - Author

Dec. 2 2016, Updated 10:04 a.m. ET

Januvia and Janumet  

Januvia and Janumet are two blockbuster drugs in Merck’s (MRK) diabetes franchise. These drugs are used to lower blood sugar level in patients with type-II diabetes. The combined sales for these drugs was ~$1.6 billion for 3Q16, a 2% fall at constant exchange rates, offset by 1% positive impact of foreign exchange. This results in a 1% fall in the total sales of these drugs in 3Q16, as compared to 3Q15.

Article continues below advertisement

Importance of Januvia and Janumet   

Januvia and its combination version, Janumet, are drugs classified as DPP-4 inhibitors. DPP-4 is an enzyme Dipeptidyl Peptidase-4, which removes incretin from the human body in normal cases for people without type-2 diabetes. However, people with type-2 diabetes require these DPP-4 inhibitors in order to prevent low blood sugar and weight gain.

Januvia has a very high share in Japan, as DPP-4 inhibitors have more patient days of therapy than other treatments. Notably, Japan has been a very fast uptake market for DPP-4 usage.

Januvia competitors include Onglyza, which is jointly made by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) and AstraZeneca (AZN), and Galvus, which is offered by Novartis (NVS).

Contributions of Januvia and Janumet  

Januvia and Janumet together contributed about 14.7% of Merck’s total revenues in 3Q16, a ~0.9% fall as compared to 3Q15. These drugs are estimated to contribute over 15% in 4Q16.

To divest risk, investors can consider ETFs like the Fidelity MSCI Healthcare ETF (FHLC), which has ~5.3% of its total assets in Merck, 3.1% in Bristol-Myers Squibb, and 6.7% in Pfizer (PFE).


Latest AstraZeneca PLC News and Updates

    © Copyright 2022 Market Realist. Market Realist is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.