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Merck’s Immunology and Cardiovascular Franchise in 3Q17

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Immunology and cardiovascular franchise

Merck & Co.’s (MRK) immunology franchise includes two drugs: Remicade and Simponi. The cardiovascular franchise includes four drugs: Zetia, Vytorin, Atozet, and Adempas.

The above chart shows revenues for key products from the immunology and cardiovascular franchises for the past eight quarters.

Immunology franchise

Immunology drugs include revenues from Remicade and Simponi. In 3Q17, Remicade revenues fell ~31% to $214 million compared to $311 million in 3Q16. The fall in Remicade revenues was driven by lower sales due to generic competition and biosimilars. Merck expects Remicade revenues to decline further as patients shift to biosimilars. Merck holds marketing rights for Remicade in European markets only, while Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) holds marketing rights for Remicade in major countries outside Europe.

Simponi, another immunology drug, reported revenues of $219 million in 3Q17, a 13% rise compared to $193 million in 3Q16.

Cardiovascular franchise

Merck & Co.’s cardiovascular portfolio includes four drugs: Zetia, Vytorin, Atozet, and Adempas.

Vytorin and Zetia are cardiovascular drugs for lowering LDL cholesterol levels. The combined revenues for Zetia and Vytorin fell 52% at constant exchange rates to $462 million in 3Q17 compared to $944 million in 3Q16.

Adempas revenues rose to $70 million in 3Q17 compared to $48 million in 3Q16. Atozet revenues rose to $59 million in 3Q17 compared to $39 million in 3Q16.

Other cardiovascular drugs include Pfizer’s (PFE) Lipitor and AbbVie’s (ABBV) Niaspan.

The iShares Core High Dividend (HDV) holds 11.6% of its total investments in healthcare companies. It holds 2.8% in Merck & Co. (MRK), 5.1% in Pfizer (PFE), and 3.3% in AbbVie (ABBV).

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