By Jennifer PateyPublished Mar 15, 2019 10:07:18More than two years after Merck, Inc. announced it would phase out its use of its blockbuster cancer drug Merckx, the company has announced it will phase out use of the drug on the planet.
The decision comes as the company prepares to spend millions of dollars to sell off some of its medical research and develop new therapies.
In a letter to shareholders Thursday, Merck CEO Brian McLean said that, in its long-term strategic plan, the cancer treatment market was expected to grow from $50 billion in 2020 to $75 billion by 2025.
In the letter, McLean noted that, since 2019, Merkx has seen “substantial growth” as more than $2.3 billion in sales of MerckX.
That’s a growth rate of nearly 6,000% per year.
“This growth has been driven by the emergence of a new generation of cancer patients, who are increasingly willing to take on new and risky treatments,” McLean wrote.
“There is a clear need for innovative new therapies to treat this emerging population.
We are now in a unique position to provide these new therapies and are committed to delivering them.”
In a separate statement Thursday, a company spokeswoman said Merck’s strategy includes a $5 billion investment in a fund for developing and delivering therapies.
The company is also spending $6 billion to acquire another company called Cellectis Therapeutics, which will focus on a new type of cancer therapy.
McLean also said that Merck will not be renewing Merck licenses in the United States.