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Jul 22, 2009

Merck Pays Depomed $10M for Patents to Expand Use of Antidiabetic

  • Merck & Co. is paying Depomed $10 million up front for a license to specific patents covering metformin extended-release technology. Merck will use the technology in the development of fixed-dose combinations of sitagliptin and extended-release metformin for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

    Sitagliptin, which is marketed as Januvia®, is Merck’s treatment for adults with type 2 diabetes. The once-daily pill works by boosting the body’s ability to control blood sugar levels. Sales of Januvia for 2008 were $1.4 billion.

    Under the terms of the agreement with Depomed, Merck will pay a milestone upon filing of an NDA for the drug combination and royalties on net product sales for a prespecified time-span.

    The deal also gives Merck the right to reference Depomend’s NDA for Glumetza® (extended-release metformin hydrochloride tablets) in its future regulatory filings for fixed-dose combinations of sitagliptin with extended release-metformin.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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