Merck Reaffirms Continued Commitment to Developing Innovative Medicines for the Treatment of Infectious Diseases at 25th Annual ECCMID Congress

KENILWORTH, N.J.--()--Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today reaffirmed its longstanding commitment to discovering and developing novel medicines in the global fight against infectious diseases, including infections caused by resistant bacteria and other pathogens. At this year’s 25th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID), April 25-28 in Copenhagen, Denmark, researchers are scheduled to present more than 30 scientific data presentations on the company’s broad portfolio of marketed and investigational anti-infective medicines.

“The rise in infections that are resistant to current antibiotics has become one of the world’s most pressing public health problems,” said Dr. Julie Gerberding, executive vice president, strategic communications, global public policy and population health, Merck. “We at Merck are proud to reaffirm our long-standing commitment to develop new therapeutics to fight infectious diseases, and to continue to collaborate with others to support antimicrobial stewardship to help slow the rate of emerging resistance.”

Merck completed its acquisition of Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. on Jan. 21, 2015, and continues to build on both companies’ work in infectious disease. Antimicrobial research remains an important area of focus. In addition to a combined portfolio of antibiotic and antifungal medicines, vaccines, and medicines for HIV and HCV, Merck has multiple programs that span discovery through late-stage development. In total, Merck currently has more than 15 ongoing clinical trials evaluating antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral agents for the prevention and treatment of infectious disease. These trials are projected to enroll approximately 8,000 patients.

Continued innovation in developing new anti-infective medicines is critical to address growing unmet medical needs and mitigate the growing problem of antibiotic and antifungal resistance. In addition to in-house anti-infective research efforts, Merck augments its expertise and resources by collaborating with scientists across the world. The company is committed to working with partners to help address this unmet need and recognizes that new methods and a broader scope of partnering – with both public and private entities – are essential to harnessing innovation.

Merck has a long history of collaborating with others in infectious diseases and the company was the first to mass produce penicillin for the war effort in the 1940s. More recently, since 2002, Merck has sponsored the Study for Monitoring Antimicrobial Resistance Trends (SMART). SMART monitors the in vitro susceptibility of clinical bacterial isolates to selected antimicrobials in the United States and internationally. The information collected and shared is designed to help local and global health agencies improve surveillance to better understand trends in antimicrobial resistance and select appropriate antibiotics for patients.

In the last five years, Merck researchers have published more than 30 peer-reviewed research articles in this disease area. The company also provides access for researchers to publish small molecule chemical probes, genetic tools, as well as recent clinical isolates and genetically engineered libraries of disease-relevant bacterial and fungal strains developed in our laboratories.

As a leader in infectious diseases, Merck is committed to:

  • Maintain active R&D programs to address unmet medical needs in the prevention and treatment of infectious disease.
  • Monitor antibacterial resistance emergence in collaboration with external partners, as exemplified by our longstanding commitment to surveillance studies.
  • Support responsible use of antimicrobials to help slow development of resistance and preserve current therapeutic options.
  • Advocate for improvements in regulatory guidance and financial incentives to support and accelerate innovation in the development of new antimicrobials, vaccines, services and solutions.

About Merck

Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Merck Forward-Looking Statement

This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. There can be no guarantees with respect to pipeline products that the products will receive the necessary regulatory approvals or that they will prove to be commercially successful. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; Merck’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Merck’s 2014 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (www.sec.gov).

Contacts

Merck
Media:
Pamela Eisele, 267-305-3558
or
Robert Consalvo, 908-295-0928
or
Investors:
Joe Romanelli, 908-740-1986
or
Justin Holko, 908-740-1879

Release Summary

Merck Reaffirms Continued Commitment to Developing Innovative Medicines for the Treatment of Infectious Diseases at 25th Annual ECCMID Congress

Contacts

Merck
Media:
Pamela Eisele, 267-305-3558
or
Robert Consalvo, 908-295-0928
or
Investors:
Joe Romanelli, 908-740-1986
or
Justin Holko, 908-740-1879