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Portola Regains Product Rights From Merck

Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc. will regain from Merck & Co. all of its rights to a potential stroke medicine, the company said Thursday.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc. will regain from Merck & Co. all of its rights to a potential stroke medicine, the company said Thursday.

The drug candidate betrixaban is being designed to prevent stroke in patients with an abnormal heart rhythm.

"Regaining full rights to betrixaban represents a transformational opportunity for Portola," said William Lis, Portola's CEO, in a statement.

The company most recently completed a midstage study. Merck said it returned rights to the drug as part of its ongoing "prioritization" process.

Portola is privately-held and based in South San Francisco, Calif. Merck is based in Whitehouse Station, N.J.
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