ALK's partner for North America, Merck, announces launch of GRASTEK(R) (GRAZAX(R)) in Canada

Copenhagen, Feb. 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ALK (ALKB:DC / OMX: ALK B / AKABY / AKBLF) today announced that its grass sublingual allergy immunotherapy tablet, which is licensed to Merck (known as MSD outside the USA and Canada) for North America, has now been launched in Canada.

Marketed in Europe under the brand name GRAZAX(r), the product is known in Canada as GRASTEK(r).

The launch announcement follows regulatory approval from the Canadian authorities of the New Drug Submission (NDS).

ALK's President and CEO, Jens Bager, said: "This launch marks another major step forward in globalising our portfolio of sublingual allergy immunotherapy tablets. It also brings an effective new treatment option to grass allergy sufferers in Canada."

In Canada, GRASTEK(r) is indicated for treatment of grass pollen induced allergic rhinitis (with or without conjunctivitis) in adults and children five years of age and older. Across North America, an estimated 30 million adults and children are estimated to suffer from grass pollen allergy.

ALK-Abello A/S

Jens Bager
President & CEO

For further information please contact:
Jens Bager, President and CEO, tel. +45 4574 7576
Investor Relations: Per Plotnikof, tel. +45 4574 7527
, mobile +45 2261 2525
Press: Martin Barlebo, tel. +45 4574 7901
, mobile +45 2064 1143

About ALK

ALK is a research-driven global pharmaceutical company focusing on allergy prevention, diagnosis and treatment. ALK is the world leader in allergy immunotherapy - a unique treatment of the underlying cause of allergy. The company has approximately 1,800 employees with subsidiaries, production facilities and distributors worldwide. ALK has entered into partnership agreements with Merck and Torii to commercialise sublingual allergy immunotherapy tablets in North America and Japan, respectively. The company is headquartered in Hoersholm, Denmark, and listed on NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen. Find more information at

About the partnership with Merck in North America

ALK has entered into a strategic partnership with Merck to develop, register and commercialise a portfolio of sublingual allergy immunoterapy tablets against grass pollen, ragweed and house dust mite allergy in the USA, Canada and Mexico. Under the agreement, ALK will receive up to DKK 1.6 billion (USD 290 million) in milestone payments from Merck, of which, approximately DKK 300 million has already been recognised in the years 2007-13. In addition, ALK is entitled to royalty payments on the net sales of the products on the North American market as well as payments for product supply. Merck will be responsible for all costs of clinical development, registration, marketing and sales of the products on the North American markets. ALK will be responsible for tablet production and supply.