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Merck joins forces with Ranbaxy

Merck & Co has entered into a new strategic product development deal with India's largest pharmaceutical company, Ranbaxy
Merck & Co has entered into a new strategic product development deal with India's largest pharmaceutical company, Ranbaxy.

The two companies have signed a five-year agreement to develop anti-bacterial and anti-fungal drug candidates. Ranbaxy will be responsible for medicines discovery and clinical development through to phase II trials, while Merck will handle approval and marketing.

"We believe that our philosophy of partnering with big pharma will continue to gather momentum as companies continue to recognise the strength and breadth of our R&D expertise and resources," said Malvinder Mohan Singh, chief executive officer and managing director of Ranbaxy.

Ranbaxy will receive an undisclosed cash payment for entering into the agreement and stand to earn more than $100m for achievement of research, development and regulatory approval milestones, in addition to substantial profits from product royalties.

Dr Mervyn Turner, senior vice-president of worldwide licensing and external research at Merck, said: "Collaborations with external partners, wherever in the world, are an integral and essential part of Merck's long-term strategy to build and expand its pipeline."

Deals between multinational companies and Indian-based pharma are on the increase with Ranbaxy in particular looking to extend its drive to discover novel drugs, having already entered into a significant research partnership with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

12th May 2008

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