CNBC's Huckman Previews Key Merck Meeting

Merck is holding its annual analyst meeting today. On this morning’s "Squawk Box", CNBC'S pharmaceuticals reporter Mike Huckman explained why investors are so eager to learn about this company's R & D developments.

Huckman says the major issue is whether Pfizer’s loss of torcetrapib, a cholesterol treatment, could be Merck’s gain.

(You might remember, recently Pfizer ended development of torcetrapib after an independent monitoring board recommended that the work end because of an unexpected number of deaths.)

Merck has at least 2 drugs that are in late stage development that appear to raise good cholesterol. If they work well and safely (they could grab what would have been Pfizer's market share) giving Merck a bigger piece of the new “good” cholesterol raising drug market for a longer period of time.

Merck shares have risen to a level that the company has not seen in 2 years.