Thursday, March 24, 2011

Merck returns anti-clotting drug betrixaban to Portola

An experimental blood-clotting drug for which Merck & Co. paid $50 million upfront two years ago will be returned to Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Merck (NYSE: MRK) said Thursday that it would give all rights for betrixaban, a Phase III-ready oral Factor Xa inhibitor anticoagulant aimed at preventing strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation, back to South San Francisco-based Portola. The companies said the decision was made after a review of Merck’s investigational drug portfolio.
Portola CEO Bill Lis cast the giveback as a “transformational opportunity.”

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