Merck Retains Interest in Select AstraZeneca APIs

March 6, 2008
Patricia Van Arnum

Patricia Van Arnum was executive editor of Pharmaceutical Technology.

ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Merck & Co. advised AstraZeneca (London) that it will not exercise its option to sell its interest in certain AstraZeneca non-proton pump inhibitor (non-PPI) products this year.

Whitehouse Station, NJ (Feb.28)-Merck & Co. advised AstraZeneca (London) that it will not exercise its option to sell its interest in certain AstraZeneca non-proton pump inhibitor (non-PPI) products this year. Those products are “Atacand” (candesartan cilexetil), “Lexxel” (enalapril maleate and felodipine),  “Plendil” (felodipine), and “Entocort” (budesonide).

As a result of this decision, AstraZeneca will have an option to acquire Merck's interest in these non-PPI products in the first half of 2010. If AstraZeneca exercises that option, AstraZeneca will have another option to acquire Merck's interest in the PPI products, including Nexium (esomeprazole) in 2012. Merck will still receive certain payments from AstraZeneca in the first quarter of 2008 in the net amount of $2.6 billion, which represents a payment of approximately $4.0 billion offset by a loan repayment of $1.4 billion to AstraZeneca from Merck.