The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Merck, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi and Bayer PR Newswire CHICAGO, Dec. 11, 2012 CHICAGO, Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Merck (NYSE:MRK), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) and Bayer (OTC:BAYRY). (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO) Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5513 Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog: Merck's Alzheimer's Drug Progresses Merck (NYSE:MRK) recently moved its Alzheimer's disease candidate, MK-8931, into a phase II/III study (EPOCH). The study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of MK-8931, an oral β-amyloid precursor protein site-cleaving enzyme (BACE) inhibitor, in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease patients. Three oral doses of MK-8931 will be compared to placebo in the 78-week, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, double-blind study. The safety profile of the candidate will be evaluated in 200 patients before phase III studies are initiated. We view MK-8931 as a high risk-high return candidate for Merck. The successful development of therapies for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease is challenging and we note that several companies have failed in developing treatments for the same. Companies likePfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) have all faced setbacks in their efforts to develop a treatment for Alzheimer's disease. The Alzheimer's disease market, however, represents huge commercial potential and therefore attracts a lot of interest. A successfully developed product could generate billions of dollars in sales once launched. As per data provided by the Alzheimer's Association, approximately 5.4 million people have Alzheimer's disease in the US alone. Neutral on Merck We currently have a Neutral recommendation on Merck, which carries a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold). While headwinds remain in the form of the Singulair genericization, EU pricing pressure, unfavorable currency movement, US health care reform, the Remicade/Simponi transition and pipeline setbacks, some of the company's recent launches should start contributing significantly to the top line in the forthcoming quarters. Large-cap pharma stocks currently holding a Zacks #2 Rank (Buy) include companies like Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) and Bayer (OTC:BAYRY). Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5515. About Zacks Equity Research Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term. Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons. Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5517 About Zacks Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=5518. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release. Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/zacksresearch Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security. Media Contact Zacks Investment Research 800-767-3771 ext. 9339 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.zacks.com SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc. Website: http://www.zacks.com
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Merck, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi and Bayer
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