Merck, Schering-Plough end Claritin-Singulair combo partnership


KENILWORTH and WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. Merck and Schering-Plough have withdrawn their application for a combined respiratory drug featuring Schering-Plough’s Claritin and Merck’s Singulair, according to Reuters. This ends an eight-year partnership between the two companies over the proposed drug.

In April, the Food and Drug Administration rejected the combination pill. Both drugs are allergy medications and the companies were hoping that the new combination pill would extend the lucrative franchises.

Claritin is now sold as an over-the-counter allergy treatment and generic versions are available, while asthma-and-allergy drug Singulair was Merck’s biggest-selling product last year with $4.3 billion in sales.

As a result of terminating the respiratory joint venture, Schering expects to receive $105 million from Merck, which Schering will recognize over the remaining three quarters of 2008.

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