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Merck & Co., Inc.

Drug Names(s): EP217609/EP5001, Org 42675, EP42675

Description: EP217609 is the biotinylated form of EP42675, an anti-clotting agent that consists of a pentasaccharide conjugated to a direct thrombin inhibitor. It inhibits both thrombin (factor IIa) and factor Xa. This combination of molecules was designed to have advantages over direct thrombin inhibitors alone and the heparins, which consist of multiple saccharide units.

EP217609 is administered intravenously or subcutaneously at fixed dose without need for monitoring. In addition, EP217609 can be neutralized within a few minutes after administration of avidin.

The direct thrombin inhibition should allow it to inhibit thrombin that is bound in a clot, unlike heparins, which can only inhibit free thrombin (because their action is mediated by antithrombin III). The pentasaccharide component inhibits factor Xa, which like the heparins is mediated by antithrombin III. Factor Xa is responsible for the generation of thrombin, so its inhibition leads to less formation of thrombin, a property which the direct thrombin inhibitors alone do not have.

Deal Structure: In October 2007, Organon announced that it has signed an exclusive, worldwide license agreement with Endotis Pharma concerning the development and commercialization of Org 42675. Under the terms of the agreement, Endotis has acquired exclusive rights to develop and commercialize Org 42675. Financial details were not disclosed.

In November 2007, Schering-Plough completed the acquisition of Organon BioSciences N.V. Schering-Plough's agreement to acquire Organon BioSciences was announced on March 12, 2007.

In March 2009, Merck & Co and Schering-Plough announced that their Boards of Directors have unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement under which Merck and Schering-Plough will combine, under the name Merck, in a stock and cash transaction. Under the terms of the agreement, Schering-Plough shareholders will receive 0.5767 shares and $10.50 in cash for each share of Schering-Plough. Each Merck share will automatically become a share of the combined company. Merck & Co...See full deal structure in Biomedtracker

Partners: Endotis Pharma Sigma-Tau S.p.A.

EP217609/Avidin News

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