NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Merck (MRK) shares are up 0.9% to $60.26 on Tuesday following the announcement that the biopharmaceutical company would be collaborating with rival Pfizer (PFE) in a study of its immunotherapy lung cancer drug candidate.
The trials of Merck's yet to be approved pembrolizumab treatment in conjunction with Pfizer's FDA approved Xalkori treatment are expected to start next year.
Xalkori generates $400 million a year in revenue for Pfizer while pembrolizumab is expected to be approved in the coming months.
"Evidence from early studies of pembrolizumab monotherapy together with Xalkori's proven targeted therapeutic approach provides the scientific rationale for evaluating this combination for the treatment of lung cancer," said Merck executive Eric Rubin.
TheStreet Ratings team rates MERCK & CO as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate MERCK & CO (MRK) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."