Meck Executive Summary

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Executive Summary

Statement of the Problem LAB Pharmaceuticals does not have enough capital to finance the testing of Davanrik, an antidepressant drugs that has potential side effects relating to obesity. LAB approaches Merck & Co., Inc. (Merck) and asks the company to license Davanrik, as well as funding the clinical testing. Merck must decide whether or not to bid to license Davanrik and if so, at what price.
Discussion
Merck is facing patent expiration problem because most of its popular drugs are going to expire by 2002. Patent expiration will lead to a substantial loss of sales. Therefore, Merck must develop new compounds quickly to refresh its portfolio and counter the loss of sales.
Licensing Davanrik with LAB would help Merck to save from two to ten years of the discovery stage because Davanrik has already passed this stage and is in the pre-clinical development stage now. The income statement shows that Merck has spent almost two billions dollars annually for the last three years on research and development of new compounds; in particular, Merck spent $2,068 million in 1999. By licensing Davanrik, Merck would be able to save this amount of money and a lot of time to replace the patent. Then, it will be able to re-enter the market and gain revenue quickly. A decision tree analysis was constructed to help valuing the drug licensing decision. The maximum bid price that Merck should offer LAB should be lower than or equal to the total expected value of the project, which is $14 million. The expected value of the licensing arrangement is calculated based on the probability of success and failure of each stage during the FDA approval process; but it is not the cash flows that Merck or LAB will receive in the future. Therefore, $14 million is the maximum bid price that Merck should offer to license Davanrik. Merck has available resources to complete…...

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