Portola Gets Drug Back From Merck

Xconomy San Francisco — 

South San Francisco-based Portola Pharmaceuticals said today that Merck has agreed to return the full commercial rights to betrixaban to Portola. The drug is designed to stop excessive blood clotting to prevent strokes in patients with an abnormal heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation. Merck said it made the decision to part ways with the drug after a review of its portfolio. Portola CEO William Lis said in a statement that the move represents a “transformational opportunity,” for Portola.