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Verus Pharmaceuticals Announces Divestiture of Pediatric GI Development Program to Meritage Pharma
Date:6/16/2008

Spin-out of Program Allows Verus to Focus Solely on AstraZeneca

Collaboration

SAN DIEGO, June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Verus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pediatric-oriented specialty pharmaceutical company, announced today that Meritage Pharma, Inc., a newly formed specialty pharmaceutical company, has acquired its pediatric gastrointestinal development program. Included in the transaction are the rights to a novel formulation of an existing molecule intended to treat an emerging allergic inflammation condition of the gastrointestinal tract.

Under the terms of the agreement, Verus is to receive an upfront payment and will retain a minority equity stake in the newly formed company. No further terms have been disclosed. Selected members of the existing Verus management team will form the management team at Meritage Pharma.

"We are excited to have completed this transaction with Meritage Pharma, a company with an extensive knowledge of the development program and a strong management team," said Robert W. Keith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Verus. "This transaction, in combination with the recent divestiture of our anaphylaxis franchise to Sciele, allows us to focus all of our efforts on the successful execution of our ongoing asthma development collaboration with AstraZeneca and the associated $280 million potential earn-out payment."

"Meritage Pharma is proud to acquire this exciting development program as our initial product candidate and is eager to leverage the prior efforts of Verus to address an emerging condition," said Dr. Elaine M. Phillips, President and Chief Executive Officer of Meritage Pharma.

About Verus

Verus Pharmaceuticals is dedicated to improving the lives of children and those who care for them. Verus is building a portfolio of products for the unmet medical needs of children through acquisitions and alliances, with an initial focus on the treatment of asthma, all
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SOURCE Verus Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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