Merck & Co. plans in the next two years to seek U.S. approval for eight new medicines and has other promising drugs in late-stage testing.
In 2012 and 2013, Merck will seek approval for drugs for chronic insomnia, hardening of the arteries, osteoporosis and reversal of anesthesia, plus an improved version of its blockbuster cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil.
Altogether, the company has 19 candidates in late-stage human testing for a broad range of diseases.
Research head Peter Kim told analysts during a daylong business briefing that Merck has two experimental drugs that could transform patient care. One, called anacetrapib, is in final-stage testing for hardening of the arteries. The other, known only as MK-8931, is in early testing for Alzheimer's disease.