Merck shares were down over 6% today after it was announced that its new drug Vorapaxar is inappropriate for stroke patients because it is not preventing clotting efficiently.
Not only is this bad news for Merck’s earnings, but its bad news for its chief decision makers. Merck acquired this drug in the $41 billion acquisition of Schering-Plough.
Citi downgraded Merck on the new to hold from buy.
A side effect of the drug also may be excessive bleeding but the company declined to comment. It has called off a planned one-year follow-up trial period for the drug.
Merck’s fall could enable competitors’ drugs to make an impact in the preventative blood clotting space such as Rivaroxaban which was submitted to the FDA by Johnson & Johnson this month and Apixaban which was developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer.
Merck’s performance today, down 6.62%.