Victrelis

Treatment for Chronic Hepatitis C

Update: Victrelis (boceprevir) Now FDA Approved - May 13, 2011

FDA Priority Review for Boceprevir

Boceprevir, Merck's Investigational Oral Hepatitis C Protease Inhibitor, Receives FDA Priority Review and EMA Accelerated Assessment

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan 6, 2011 - Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced today that regulatory applications for boceprevir, Merck's investigational oral hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease inhibitor, were submitted in 2010 and have been accepted for expedited review in both the U.S. and the European Union.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted the New Drug Application (NDA) for boceprevir Priority Review status, a designation given to drugs that offer major advances in treatment, or provide a treatment where no adequate therapy exists. FDA's goal for completing a Priority Review is six months.

Additionally, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) accepted the Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for boceprevir for accelerated assessment. Accelerated assessment is available for products that respond to unmet medical needs or represent a significant improvement over current treatment options within a major public health interest such as treatment of hepatitis C virus infection.

Data in the NDA and MAA have been provided in support of the proposed use of boceprevir for the treatment of chronic HCV genotype 1 infection, in combination with standard therapy, in adult patients with compensated liver disease who are previously untreated or who have failed previous therapy.

"We are pleased that the FDA and EMA have accepted boceprevir for expedited review. Our goal is to be able to bring forward a new treatment option for patients living with chronic hepatitis C, and we are now closer to that goal," said Dr. Peter S. Kim, Ph.D., president, Merck Research Laboratories.

Merck's global commitment to advancing hepatitis therapy

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. Extensive research efforts are underway to develop differentiated oral therapies that bring innovation to viral hepatitis care.

About Merck

Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside 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.

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; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation; 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 2009 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:
Ian McConnell, 908-423-3046
Robert Consalvo, 908-295-0928
or
Investors:
Joe Romanelli, 908-423-5088

Posted: January 2011

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