Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) announced that it has been advised by AstraZeneca (AZN,AZN.L) that it would exercise the option to obtain Merck's interest in AstraZeneca's non-proton pump inhibitor or non-PPI products in 2010. The products are Atacand, Lexxel, Plendil and Entocort plus certain products currently in clinical development. Further, Merck noted that it would receive a payment of $647 million in April, which represents the net present value as of March 31, 2008 for the company's share of the projected pretax revenue for the non-PPI products. Hence, AstraZeneca would have an option to acquire Merck's interest in the PPI products, including Nexium, in 2012, or later, under certain circumstances.
by RTT Staff Writer
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