Cardiome Pharma Signs Licence Agreement with Merck for up to $1B

On April 8, 2009, Cardiome Pharma Corp. of Vancouver signed a licensing deal with Merck & Co., Inc., worth up to $1 billion if all milestones are met, which would make it the largest Canadian life sciences licensing deal in history. Merck will pay US$60 million up front and provide a $100 million line of credit with an additional $300 million in clinical milestone payments and $340 million in commercial milestones, along with tiered royalties for the commercialization of the drug Vernakalant, which is being investigated as a treatment for atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm.

James Hatton of Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP and Barbara Kosacz of Cooley Godward Kronish LLP in California acted for Cardiome. Anke Kramer, in-house counsel, represented Merck.