Merck Dives Into the 'Superbug' Chase - Business Briefing on CIO Today

Merck will spend $8.4 billion to buy Cubist Pharmaceuticals and move deeper into treating so-called “superbugs” that have drawn dire warnings from global health organizations.

The company said Monday that the deal will give it stronger footing in hospital acute care and help it address antibiotic resistance, which the Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, drugmaker called a critical area of unmet medical need.

Antibiotic-resistant infections are linked to 23,000 deaths and 2 million illnesses in the United States annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC has called the problem a threat Relevant Products/Services to both health and economic stability, and President Obama in September ordered the government to create a national plan to fight them by early 2015.