Merck To Buy NovaCardia

Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) has agreed to acquire NovaCardia Inc., a San Diego-based drug company focused on cardiovascular disease. The deal is valued at approximately $350 million in Merck stock, plus the value of NovaCardia's cash on hand at the time of closing. NovaCardia had been in registration for an $86.25 million IPO, but now is expected to withdraw the filing. It has raised nearlyaround $88 million in VC funding since its 2001 formation, with its most recent post-money valuation coming in just shy of $100 million. Shareholders include Domain Associates (24.9% stake), Forward Ventures (15.6%), InterWest Partners (10.4%), Skyline Venture Partners (15.3%), Versant Ventures (13.6%) and Montreaux Equity Partners (12.5%).