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The pharma giant had a banner year in 2019, climbing seven slots on the Fortune 500. Revenue rose almost 11%, to $46.8 billion, while profits leaped 58%, to $9.8 billion. Blockbuster cancer drug Keytruda, as well as an expanded line of animal medicines, have helped power Merck’s growth—though its share price has not seen as much of a lift as some competitors'. More recently, Merck has been notably quiet in medical chatter about the novel coronavirus. But executives on a late April earnings call announced that the company has teams scanning its portfolio of antiviral candidates and vaccine assets for potential treatments.
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