* Merck agrees to pay $4 mln to cover expenses
* Former partnership agreements were related to heplisav
March 15 (Reuters) - Dynavax Technologies Corp (DVAX.O) said Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N) agreed to pay $4 million to cover expenses for the wind-down period that followed Merck’s notice of termination of a collaboration.
The former partnership agreements covered the clinical development and commercialization of heplisav, Dynavax’s experimental hepatitis B vaccine.
In March 2008, U.S. Food and Drug Administration put a clinical hold on the drug and in December that year, Merck ended the collaboration.
Heplisav is currently in late-stage trials, after the FDA removed the clinical hold last September.
The company is developing heplisav for populations that are less responsive to current licensed vaccines, including individuals with chronic kidney disease.
Dynavax shares closed at $1.57 Friday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Jennifer Robin Raj in Bangalore; Editing by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri)