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Diakron Licenses Anticoagulant Drug Candidate from Merck & Co., Inc.
Date:8/13/2008

Orchid Pharma partners with Diakron

MORRIS PLAINS, N.J., Aug. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Diakron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today the signing of an exclusive license agreement for a novel investigational oral anticoagulant drug candidate discovered and developed through Phase I clinical trials by Merck & Co. Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, Diakron has the exclusive rights to develop, and, if approved, market and distribute the compound worldwide.

In a simultaneous transaction, Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd., the Chennai (India) based pharmaceutical major ("Orchid Pharma"), has signed an agreement to partner with Diakron as a significant shareholder and developer for the anticoagulant drug candidate. Orchid will be undertaking the next stages of development.

Announcing the successful conclusion of the agreements, Srirama Rao, PhD., a founder and the Chairman of Diakron said, "We are extremely pleased to be able to license this compound from Merck for further development and commercialization. We are also pleased that Orchid is partnering with us as a significant shareholder and developer of this compound, leveraging its world-class R&D infrastructure in India. This will allow Diakron to fast-track development of this unique anticoagulant product as its number one priority."

Commenting on the agreement, Dr. C.B. Rao, Deputy Managing Director of Orchid stated that partnering with Diakron for the development of this Merck compound is a significant development in Orchid's drug discovery journey. With its end-to-end drug discovery and drug development capability backed by US FDA and UK MHRA compliant manufacturing facilities, Orchid is well positioned to support the development of the compound all the way to successful commercialization, he observed.

"Despite recent advances there remains a significant unmet medical need for novel anticoagulant therapies," said Joseph Vacca, Executive Director of Medicinal Chemistry, External Basic Research at Merck & Co., Inc. "We believe that Diakron is well positioned to build on our early development work and, in collaboration with Orchid, spearhead the passage of this molecule through late stage clinical trials."

About Diakron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Diakron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately-owned pharmaceutical company specializing in the development of products for the treatment of certain cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

About Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd. is a globally recognized, integrated pharmaceutical company with core competencies in the development and manufacture of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and Finished Dosage Forms as well as in drug discovery. Orchid has research and manufacturing facilities aimed at global markets, thus emerging as a world-class pharmaceutical company covering the entire value chain from "Discovery to Delivery."

Contacts:

Diakron: Robert A. Anderson

Chief Marketing Officer

randerson@diakron.com

Orchid: C.B. Rao, PhD.

Deputy Managing Director

cbrao@orchidpharma.com


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SOURCE Diakron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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