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Merck (NYSE:MRK) will retain its remaining interest for a minimum of two years in its partnership with AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), as the latter has agreed to not exercise its option of purchase. Accordingly, Merck is expecting to continue reaping revenues and profits from acid reflux drugs Nexium and Prilosec due to the agreement, and projects that the deal should accrete $200 million to revenue and between 3 and 5 cents to earnings per share in 2012.
Shares of Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARNA) shoot the moon, after being halted for a time pending news that U.S. regulators approved its weight-loss drug Belviq – formerly known as lorcaserin, which is the first new prescription diet pill to be cleared for domestic sale in more than 13 years. Upon resumption of trading following the official announcement, shares resumed at $13.50, finally closing at $11.39. Share of Vivus (NASDAQ:VVUS) shot to a year high on the news, which is linked to it as the FDA is soon to make a decision on its own diet drug Qnexa diet drug on July 17th.
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