Company: Merck

Drug/indication: Boceprevir for hepatitis C

Estimated timing: Third quarter

Recent stock performance: Flat for the year

Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX) set the efficacy bar for new hepatitis C drugs when the company's experimental drug telaprevir posted a 75% "cure" rate in a pivotal phase III study of newly diagnosed patients.

Investors await results from two pivotal studies of Merck's boceprevir in newly diagnosed hepatitis C patients as well as in patients who failed to respond to previous treatment. Likewise, Vertex is expected to announce results later this year from additional late-stage studies of telaprevir in previously treated patients.

If you liked this article you might like

After Soaring to $150, Can Incyte Stir Up More Upside?

Biotech Buoyed by Deal Talk

The Next Target in Biotech Land

The Next Target in Biotech Land

Earnings Key to Next Week's Winners: Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap (Friday 1/13/17)