(Reuters) – Merck & Co Inc reported higher-than-expected first-quarter profit on Tuesday on increased demand for vaccines and cancer immunotherapy Keytruda, and the U.S. drugmaker raised its 2019 earnings and revenue forecasts.
FILE PHOTO: The Merck logo is seen at a gate to the Merck & Co campus in Linden, New Jersey, U.S., July 12, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Gardasil, a vaccine for preventing cancers associated with human papillomavirus, powered much of the earnings beat, helped by higher vaccination rates in Europe, while other vaccines, such as the company’s measles shot, also helped results.
Sales of Keytruda surged 55 percent to $2.27 billion. While shy of lofty Wall Street estimates of $2.33 billion, they topped Bristol-Myers Squibb’s rival drug Opdivo, which brought in $1.8 billion, for the