Merck Enters Agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb to Conduct a Phase II Clinical Trial Evaluating Combination of Investigational

  Merck Enters Agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb to Conduct a Phase II
  Clinical Trial Evaluating Combination of Investigational Oral Candidates
  MK-5172 and Daclatasvir for Chronic Hepatitis C

Business Wire

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. -- April 22, 2013

Merck (NYSE:MRK) today announced it has entered into a non-exclusive agreement
with Bristol-Myers Squibb to conduct a Phase II clinical trial to evaluate the
safety and efficacy of a once-daily oral combination regimen consisting of
Bristol-Myers Squibb’s investigational NS5A replication complex inhibitor
daclatasvir and Merck's investigational NS3/4A protease inhibitor MK-5172 for
the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, genotype 1.

“In HCV, agreements like this that combine novel investigational candidates
are important to evaluate the potential of novel oral regimens early in the
development cycle,” said Eliav Barr M.D., vice president, Infectious Diseases,
Project Leadership and Management, Merck Research Laboratories. “We are
pleased to collaborate with Bristol-Myers Squibb  to advance this potential
all-oral combination.”

The planned initiation of the Phase II clinical trial follows the completion
of a Phase I safety evaluation of the investigational combination regimen.
Under the agreement, Merck will conduct the Phase II clinical trial. Further
clinical development activities beyond the Phase II study are not covered as
part of this agreement. Additional details of the collaboration were not
disclosed.

About MK-5172

MK-5172 is an investigational orally available HCV NS3/4A protease inhibitor
currently being evaluated in combination with other approved and
investigational medications in Phase II clinical trials. This includes an all
oral combination with MK-8742, Merck’s investigational orally available HCV
NS5A protease inhibitor.

Merck's Global Commitment to Development of Hepatitis Therapies

Merck is committed to building on its strong legacy in the field of viral
hepatitis by continuing to discover, develop and deliver vaccines and
medicines to help prevent and treat viral hepatitis. In hepatitis C, company
researchers developed the first approved therapy for chronic HCV in 1991 and
the first combination therapy in 1998. In addition to ongoing studies for our
marketed and investigational medicines for the treatment of chronic HCV,
extensive research efforts are underway to develop additional oral therapies
for viral hepatitis treatment.

About Daclatasvir

Daclatasvir is an NS5A replication complex inhibitor that is being extensively
studied as a key component of potential direct-acting antiviral (DAA) based
hepatitis C treatment regimens. Studied in more than 4,100 patients to date,
daclatasvir is in Phase III development.

About Merck

Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well.
Merck is known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada. Through our
prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and
animal health 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 healthcare through far-reaching policies,
programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com and
connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Merck 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. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and
expectations of Merck’s management and are subject to significant risks and
uncertainties. There can be no guarantees with respect to pipeline products
that the products will receive the necessary regulatory approvals or that they
will prove to be commercially successful. If underlying assumptions prove
inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ
materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry
conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate
and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry
regulation and health care legislation in the United States and
internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment;
technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors;
challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory
approval; Merck’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions;
manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international
economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck’s
patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to
litigation, including patent 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 2012
Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities
and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site
(www.sec.gov).

Contact:

Merck
Media:
Caroline Lappetito, (267) 305-7639
or
Investor:
Carol Ferguson, (908) 423-4465
Justin Holko, (908) 423-5088
 
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