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Merck to license CompuMed's OsteoGram

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Merck continues to lay the groundwork for its upcoming introductionof Fosamax, a new drug for the treatment of osteoporosis. TheWest Point, PA, drug company has entered into an agreement withCompuMed to license that company's OsteoGram test for

Merck continues to lay the groundwork for its upcoming introductionof Fosamax, a new drug for the treatment of osteoporosis. TheWest Point, PA, drug company has entered into an agreement withCompuMed to license that company's OsteoGram test for measuringbone density.

Merck is close to receiving Food and Drug Administration approvalfor Fosamax, which is expected to give a lift to the bone densitometrymarket. In June the company signed agreements with Lunar and Hologicto provide financial assistance for physicians who wish to purchasedensitometry scanners from those firms (SCAN 7/6/95).

The agreement with CompuMed of Manhattan Beach, CA, complementsthose deals by extending Merck's influence over another methodof measuring bone density. OsteoGram enables physicians to usestandard x-ray equipment to detect low bone mass using a techniquecalled radiographic absorptiometry.

Under the terms of the deal, Merck will receive exclusive worldwiderights to OsteoGram in exchange for paying licensing fees androyalties to CompuMed on all OsteoGram tests performed over afive-year period.

Merck will also operate on a nonprofit basis OsteoGram AnalysisCenter, which performs computer analyses as part of the OsteoGramtest. The center will be operated by Merck's nonprofit Bone MeasurementInstitute.

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