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Merck has agreed to purchase San Diego-based NovaCardia, a privately held clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on cardiovascular diseases, for $350 million plus the amount of cash on hand at the time of closing. Merck will pay for NovaCardia in Merck stock, to be valued based on the average closing stock price on the five days prior to closing of the deal. NovaCardia's lead product candidate, KW-3902, is being studied in late-stage clinical trials in patients with acute congestive heart failure. In March, NovaCardia filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise up to $86.3 million in an initial public offering. 

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