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Ahead Of The Bell: Santarus Soars On OTC Zegerid

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Shares of Santarus Inc. soared in premarket activity Wednesday after the Food and Drug Administration approved an over-the-counter version of the company's prescription heartburn drug Zegerid.

The stock gained $1.13, or 26.3 percent, to $5.42 ahead of Wednesday's market open. The stock has ranged from $1.05 to $4.39 over the past year.

The company had partnered with Schering-Plough Corp. on the over-the-counter version of Zegerid. Merck & Co. took over the application after buying Schering-Plough in November.

San Diego-based Santarus stands to receive a $20 million milestone payment and could also get up to $37.5 million in sales milestone payments, along with royalties on sales.

Santarus recorded revenue of $130.2 million in 2008.

Merck said Zegerid OTC will be available in the first half of 2010.
Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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