Merck and Intercell AG Announce Termination of Phase II/III Clinical Trial of Investigational Staphylococcus aureus Vaccin

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. & VIENNA--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and Intercell AG (VSE: ICLL) today announced that following a detailed analysis of the data from the Phase II/III clinical trial evaluating V710, an investigational vaccine for the prevention of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) infection, the independent Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) has unanimously recommended termination of the study.

As previously announced, following a pre-planned meeting in April, the DMC informed Merck that the trial had not met the formal futility criteria. However, the DMC recommended that enrollment in the Phase II/III clinical trial be suspended pending completion by Merck of additional analyses on the benefits and risks of vaccination. Following further review of the statistical analyses by the DMC -- which also considered events that had occurred after the pre-specified data cutoff date utilized for the April meeting -- the recommendation to terminate was made based upon both the observation that V710 was unlikely to demonstrate a statistically significant clinical benefit as well as a safety concern regarding overall mortality and multi-organ dysfunction that occurred with greater frequency in vaccine recipients, compared with placebo recipients. In the additional analyses that were performed, this safety difference was not found to be statistically significant and was also determined not to warrant any action beyond routine safety follow-up. Merck plans to present the final detailed findings of the clinical trial at an upcoming medical meeting.

About S. aureus

S. aureus is the most frequent cause of hospital-acquired infections. In addition to bloodstream infections with a mortality rate of up to 35 percent, infections of bone, heart and other inner organs can often lead to serious health complications, death and economic burden. Today, approximately 50 percent of S. aureus strains isolated in hospitals worldwide are resistant to multiple antibiotics, rendering staphylococcal disease management increasingly difficult and challenging.

About Merck

Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com.

About Intercell AG

Intercell AG is a vaccine-biotechnology company with the clear vision to develop and commercialize novel immunomodulatory biologicals to prevent disease and reduce suffering around the world.

Intercell's vaccine to prevent Japanese Encephalitis is the Company's first product on the market.

The Company's technology platform includes novel platforms, such as the patch based delivery system or the proprietary human monoclonal antibody discovery system eMab®, in addition to the well established technologies through which Intercell has materialized strategic partnerships with a number of leading pharmaceutical companies, including GSK, Novartis, Merck & Co., Inc., sanofi-aventis.

The Company's pipeline of investigational products includes a development program for the pediatric use of Intercell´s JE-Vaccine IXIARO® in endemic (in collaboration with partner Biological E) and non-endemic markets. Furthermore, a Pseudomonas aeruginosa vaccine candidate (Phase II/III) with Novartis, a vaccine to prevent Pandemic Influenza by combining our Vaccine Enhancement Patch with an injected vaccine (Phase I), a vaccine program for S. aureus, which is being developed by Merck & Co., Inc. (Phase II/III), as well as a combination treatment approach for Hepatitis C (Phase II) with Romark, and a vaccine candidate against infections with C. difficile entered Phase I clinical trials in 2010 are in clinical trials.

Intercell is listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange under the symbol "ICLL" (U.S. level one ADR symbol "INRLY").

For more information, please visit: www.intercell.com

Merck Forward-Looking Statement

This news release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements may include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the merger between Merck and Schering-Plough, including future financial and operating results, the combined company's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical facts. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the possibility that the expected synergies from the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; disruption from the merger making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; Merck's ability to accurately predict future market conditions; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck's patents and other protections for innovative products; the risk of new and changing regulation and health policies in the United States and internationally and the exposure to litigation and/or regulatory actions.

Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Merck's 2010 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC's Internet site (www.sec.gov).

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CONTACT:

Merck
Media:
Ian R. McConnell, 908-423-3046
Investors:
Carol Ferguson, 908- 423-4465
or
Intercell AG
Nina Waibel, +43-1-20620-1303

KEYWORDS:   Austria  United States  Europe  North America  New Jersey

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Clinical Trials  Infectious Diseases  Pharmaceutical

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