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AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) (JOBS) Exercises Option to Acquire Merck & Co. (Westpoint, PA) (MRK)'s Interest in Partnership Products; Merck to Receive Payment of $647 Million


3/1/2010 6:30:14 AM

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., Mar 01, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Merck & Co., Inc. announced today that it has been advised by AstraZeneca PLC that it will exercise the option to obtain Merck's interest in AstraZeneca's non-proton pump inhibitor (non-PPI) products this year. Those products are Atacand(TM), Lexxel(TM), Plendil(TM) and Entocort(TM) plus certain products currently in clinical development. In April, Merck will receive a payment of $647 million 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.

As a result of this decision, AstraZeneca will have an option to acquire Merck's interest in the PPI products, including Nexium(TM), in 2012, or later, under certain circumstances.

About Merck

Today's Merck is working to help the world be well. Through our medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer and animal products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching programs that donate and deliver our products to the people who need them. Merck. Be Well. For more information, visit www.merck.com.

Forward-Looking Statement

This news release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements may include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the merger between Merck and Schering-Plough, including future financial and operating results, the combined company's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical facts. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the possibility that the expected synergies from the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period, due to, among other things, the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and pending legislation that could affect the pharmaceutical industry; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; disruption from the merger making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; Merck's ability to accurately predict future market conditions; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck's patents and other protections for innovative products; the risk of new and changing regulation and health policies in the U.S. and internationally and the exposure to litigation and/or regulatory actions.

Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be

found in Merck's 2008 Annual Report on Form 10-K, Schering-Plough's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2009, the proxy statement filed by Merck on June 25, 2009 and each company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC's Internet site (www.sec.gov).

SOURCE: Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co., Inc. Media: David Caouette, 908-423-3461 Amy Rose, 908-423-6537 or Investor: Joe Romanelli, 908-423-5088 Carol Ferguson, 908-423-4465

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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