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Merck Licenses Santen Eye Drug for Undisclosed Sum

Wed, 04/15/2009 - 4:42am
NEW YORK (AP) — Merck and Co. said Wednesday it will license an eye pressure drug made by Santen Pharmaceutical Co. of Japan for an undisclosed amount. The drug, tafluprost, has been approved in 11 countries, most of them in Europe. Merck will hold the rights to market the drug, pending approval, in North and South America, Africa, and Western Europe excluding Germany. The Whitehouse Station, N.J., company will make an upfront payment to Santen, as well as milestone payments and royalties on sales. Tafluprost, also marketed as Taflotan and Tapros, is intended to reduce pressure inside the eye for patients with glaucoma and ocular hypertension. Santen will keep the rights to the drug in other countries, and if the drug gains approval in the U.S., Santen will have the option to market it alongside Merck.
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