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Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Shoves Once-Promising $700 Million+ Drug Back To Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARIA)


2/27/2014 8:23:31 AM

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Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK) has officially washed its hands of a once-lauded experimental cancer drug it invested in along with Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA) Merck informed Ariad last week that it was terminating its license agreement and handing back the drug to Ariad, FierceBiotech reports. At one time, the drug, known as ridaforolimus, was considered a promising new cancer treatment. Merck originally planned to invest up to $700 million in the project, which yielded a phase 3 clinical trial in advanced sarcomas. The drug was then rejected, however, when the Food and Drug Administration claimed that due to the drug’s risk-benefit profile, it would require another trial. Prior to the drug’s rejection by the FDA, Merck had already paid Ariad about $200 million as part of the partnership.

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