Closing of the transaction is contingent upon obtaining clearance from the relevant authorities.
Letermovir (AIC246) is an investigational oral, once-daily candidate for the prevention and treatment of HCMV infection. It is a potentially first in class molecule derived from a novel chemical class (quinazolines) and is designed to inhibit the HCMV viral terminase. In April 2012, AiCuris announced that a randomized, placebo controlled Phase IIb clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of letermovir in HCMV-seropositive allogeneic human blood precursor cell recipients (bone marrow transplant patients) met all primary efficacy endpoints. Letermovir has received Orphan Drug Status in the European Union and the United States, where it has also been granted Fast Track Designation.
The Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is widely spread in the human population and can cause severe, life-threatening infections in cases of immune incompetency or immune deficiency, such as, for example, cases in transplant recipients, newborn babies and HIV/AIDS patients. HCMV infection is characterized by fever, leucopenia (very low white blood cell count) and thrombocytopenia (very low platelet numbers) with or without specific organ dysfunction. Two main strategies to prevent HCMV infection have been adopted: anti-HCMV drug prophylaxis or pre-emptive treatment of transplant recipients who are at risk and have evidence of HCMV infection upon screening.
AiCuris GmbH & Co KG (name derived from Anti-Infective Cures) was founded in 2006 as a spin-off from Bayer Healthcare AG. With its deep roots in Bayer's long history of successful anti-infectives drug research and development, AiCuris is focused exclusively on the discovery, research and development of novel, resistance breaking antiviral and antibacterial agents for the treatment of severe and potentially life-threatening infectious diseases. Majority investors are Drs. Strüngmann, founders and former owners of the pharmaceutical company Hexal. Besides the HCMV program, AiCuris is pursuing several other candidates in various stages of clinical development including a novel anti Herpes Simplex compound ready for Phase III clinical testing. For more information, please visit
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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. 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.