Recent developments

In May, Merck & Company (MRK) and Moderna Therapeutics announced the expansion of their existing collaboration, which started in 2016, to develop and commercialize new personalized messenger RNA (or mRNA) cancer vaccines. The expansion of the collaboration will include Moderna’s antigen mRNA KRAS cancer vaccine, MRNA-5671.

According to the terms of the agreement, Merck will conduct the clinical development of mRNA-5671, while Moderna Therapeutics will carry out the clinical supply and related costs. After the completion and success of mRNA-5671 in human proof-of-concept trials, Merck could opt for further clinical development and commercialization of mRNA-5671 on payment of a certain fee to Moderna Therapeutics.

Analysts Are Positive on Merck in May

The collaboration will strengthen Merck’s cancer vaccine pipeline portfolio and vaccines portfolio.

Analysts’ recommendations

A total of 21 analysts are tracking Merck in May. Six have recommended “strong buys,” while ten have recommended “buys” on the stock. Five have recommended “holds” on the stock.

As of May 22, Merck has a consensus 12-month target price of $69.06, which represents an ~18.2% potential return on investment over the next 12 months. On May 22, its stock price closed at $58.45, which represented a rise of ~11% from its 52-week low of $52.83 on April 3.

Peers’ ratings

Of the 22 analysts tracking Pfizer (PFE) in May, ~50% have recommended some form of a “buy” on its stock. Among the 22 analysts tracking Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) in May, ~36% have recommended some form of a “buy” on its stock. Of the 23 analysts tracking Amgen (AMGN) in May, ~48% have recommended some form of a “buy” on its stock.

On May 22, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Amgen had consensus 12-month target prices of $39.6, $58.3, and $195.35, respectively, representing potential returns on investment of ~10.9%, ~11.4%, and 9.5%, respectively, over the next 12 months.

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