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


April 21, 2015 7:30 am ET

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

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,
and connect with us on Twitter,
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 (

Pamela Eisele, 267-305-3558
Robert Consalvo, 908-295-0928
Joe Romanelli, 908-740-1986
Justin Holko, 908-740-1879

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