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From Earlier: ViroPharma Purchases Exclusive Option to Acquire Meritage Pharma; Paid Initial $7,5M

ViroPharma Incorporated (NASDAQ: VPHM) yesterday announced that it has entered into an exclusive option to acquire Meritage Pharma, Inc., a private company based in San Diego, CA focused on developing oral budesonide suspension as a treatment for eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), a chronic inflammatory disorder of the esophagus.

ViroPharma has paid an initial $7.5 million, and has agreed to provide Meritage up to an additional $12.5 million for the development and exclusive right to purchase the company at predefined terms upon the completion of a series of clinical and regulatory deliverables. Meritage will utilize the funding to conduct additional Phase 2 clinical assessment of OBS. After receipt of final Phase 2 data and concurrence with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on an acceptable clinical endpoint for the Phase 3 program, ViroPharma will have an option to acquire Meritage at ViroPharma's discretion for $69.9 million plus the potential for additional payments upon the achievement of certain clinical and regulatory milestones.

As described below, in an initial Phase 2 dose-ranging clinical trial in pediatric patients with EoE, OBS demonstrated a statistically significant reduction of esophageal eosinophilia. Clinical symptom assessment was confounded by the use of a multi-symptom assessment tool and high placebo response.

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