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Arena Pharmaceuticals Announces Merck Discontinues Development of Investigational Niacin Receptor Agonist Program for Atherosclerosis
Date:12/23/2009

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 23, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARNA) announced today Merck and Co., Inc.'s decision (through an affiliate) to discontinue development of MK-1903, an investigational niacin receptor agonist to treat atherosclerosis being developed under its research collaboration with Arena. Merck also informed Arena that the company will not continue the collaboration.

Merck made the decision to discontinue development of MK-1903 following evaluation of the results of a recently completed Phase 2a clinical trial. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluated the safety, tolerability and potential efficacy in patients with dyslipidemia. According to Merck, elevation of HDL cholesterol relative to placebo did not meet the trial's pre-specified primary objective for efficacy; no safety signals were implicated as drivers of the decision to discontinue development.

"We are disappointed that the trial results did not lead to further development of this program, but it has been a pleasure to work with Merck and we welcome the opportunity to collaborate again," said Jack Lief, Arena's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We continue to focus on our other internal and partnered programs and the FDA approval of our lead drug candidate, lorcaserin for weight management."

"This collaboration has led to excellent scientific interaction," said Dr. Andrew Plump, Vice President Cardiovascular Franchise Worldwide Discovery Head, Merck Research Laboratories. "We look forward to the possibility of partnering with Arena in the future."

About Arena Pharmaceuticals

Arena is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing oral drugs that target G protein-coupled receptors, an i
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SOURCE Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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