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Merck collaborate over betrixaban

Merck and Portola Pharmaceuticals have signed an exclusive global collaboration and license agreement for betrixaban

Global research-driven pharmaceutical company, Merck & Co, and Portola Pharmaceuticals have signed an exclusive global collaboration and license agreement for the development and commercialisation of betrixaban, an investigational oral Factor Xa inhibitor anticoagulant currently in phase II clinical development for the prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (SPAF).

In return for an exclusive worldwide license to betrixaban, Merck will pay Portola an initial fee of $50m. Portola is also eligible to receive additional cash payments amounting to $420m on achievement of certain development, regulatory and commercialisation milestones, as well as double-digit royalties on worldwide sales of betrixaban, if approved. Merck will assume all development and commercialisation costs, including the costs of phase III clinical trials, however, Portola has retained an option to co-fund phase III clinical trials in return for additional royalties and to co-promote betrixaban with Merck in the US.

According to Dr Luciano Rossetti, senior vice president and franchise head, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular at Merck Research Laboratories: "This agreement reinforces Merck's focus on developing an innovative portfolio of products for the treatment and management of multiple aspects of cardiovascular disease."

13th July 2009

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