July 10, 2009


Portola Pharma Signs $470 Million Deal with Merck

Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) has bought exclusive rights from Portola Pharmaceuticals, to develop and commercialize an oral blood thinner, used to prevent strokes in patients suffering from atrial fibrillation. The deal includes a $50 million up-front payment, plus up to $420 million in milestone-based earnouts. It comes just months after Portola signed a similar deal with Novartis, for an anti-clotting agent, valued at up to $575 million.

Portola has raised around $220 million in VC funding, from firms like Abingworth Management, Advanced Technology Ventures, AllianceBernstein, Alta Partners, Brookside Capital, CIDC Consulting, D.E. Shaw, Frazier Healthcare Ventures, Goldman Sachs, IBT Management Corp., MPM Capital, Prospect Venture Partners, Sutter Hill Ventures, Teachers’ Private Capital, T. Rowe Price, Apothecary Capital, Janus Capital and PAC-Link BioVentures.