Cardiome announces settlement of debt and termination of line of credit with Merck

Mar 04, 2013, 08:52 ET from Cardiome Pharma Corp.

VANCOUVER, March 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Cardiome Pharma Corp. (NASDAQ: CRME / TSX: COM) today announced it has made the final payment to Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, of $13 million (currency in U.S. dollars) which has been accepted by Merck as full and final settlement of all amounts owing under the line of credit stemming from the companies' collaboration and license agreement for vernakalant, signed in April 2009.  Under the terms of the December 10, 2012, settlement agreement between the companies, upon payment of $20 million by Cardiome to Merck on or before March 31, 2013, Cardiome's outstanding debt of $50 million owed to Merck would be settled. Previously, Cardiome made an initial payment of $7 million to Merck.  Today's final payment of $13 million concludes Cardiome's total payment of $20 million to Merck and consequently terminates the credit facility and releases and discharges the collateral security Merck had taken in respect of the advances under the line of credit.

As part of the settlement agreement, Cardiome shall purchase, in the amount of an additional $3 million, and take delivery of, vernakalant IV finished goods inventory and IV and oral active pharmaceutical ingredient (API).  Cardiome expects the IV materials would support ongoing commercialization of BRINAVESS™ (vernakalant intravenous or IV).  Vernakalant oral API is expected to be sufficient to support potential clinical trials that may be conducted in the foreseeable future.

"I am pleased by the progress we are making as we execute the multi-step process to transfer vernakalant back to Cardiome," stated William Hunter, M.D., interim CEO of Cardiome. "In the coming months we will be establishing a small, direct Cardiome sales force to promote BRINAVESSTM product sales in Europe and we will begin planning our regulatory strategy to further develop both intravenous and oral vernakalant in order to achieve its maximum potential in the treatment of atrial fibrillation."

Vernakalant IV is marketed under the brand name BRINAVESS™ and is approved in the European Union and certain other markets worldwide for the rapid conversion of recent onset atrial fibrillation (AF) to sinus rhythm in adults: for non-surgery patients with AF of seven days or less and for post-cardiac surgery patients with AF of three days or less.  Vernakalant IV is not approved for use in the United States or Canada

About Cardiome Pharma Corp.

Cardiome Pharma Corp. is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of new therapies that will improve the health of patients around the world. Cardiome has one marketed product, BRINAVESSTM (vernakalant IV), approved in Europe and other territories for the rapid conversion of recent onset atrial fibrillation to sinus rhythm in adults.

Cardiome is traded on the NASDAQ Capital Market (CRME) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (COM). For more information, please visit our web site at

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SOURCE Cardiome Pharma Corp.