Merck, Cardiome Sign License Agreement for Investigational Drug for Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation
April 10, 2009 - Merck & Co., Inc. and Cardiome Pharma Corp. are collaborating on the development and commercialization of vernakalant; vernakalant (IV) is an investigational candidate being evaluated for its ability to terminate an atrial fibrillation episode and return the heart to normal rhythm and vernakalant (oral) is being evaluated as an oral maintenance therapy for the long-term prevention of atrial fibrillation recurrence.
The agreement provides Merck with exclusive global rights to the oral formulation of vernakalant (vernakalant [oral]) for the maintenance of normal heart rhythm in patients with atrial fibrillation, and provides a Merck affiliate, Merck Sharp & Dohme (Switzerland) GmbH, with exclusive rights outside of the U.S., Canada and Mexico to the intravenous (IV) formulation of vernakalant (vernakalant [IV]) for rapid conversion of acute atrial fibrillation to normal heart rhythm.
Under terms of the agreement, Merck will pay Cardiome an initial fee of $60 million. In addition, Cardiome is eligible to receive up to $200 million in payments based on achievement of certain milestones associated with the development and approval of vernakalant products (including a total of $35 million for initiation of a planned Phase III program for vernakalant [oral] and submission for regulatory approval in Europe of vernakalant [IV]), and up to $100 million for milestones associated with approvals in other subsequent indications of both the intravenous and oral formulations.
For more information: http://www.merck.com, www.cardiome.com