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Sun/ Merck enter Indian diabetes deal

Merck has teamed up with Sun Pharmaceutical to co-market Merck's diabetes drugs sitagliptin and sitagliptin plus metformin in India

Merck (known as MSD outside the US and Canada) has teamed up with Sun Pharmaceutical to co-market Merck's diabetes drugs, sitagliptin and sitagliptin plus metformin, in India.

Sitagliptin is currently marketed outside India as Januvia, and sitagliptin plus metformin is marketed as Janumet.

Under the agreement, Sun Pharma will have the rights to market, promote and distribute the drugs under different brand names in India.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

K G Ananthakrishnan, managing director, Merck in India, described increasing access to the drugs as an "urgent need" with increasingly high rates of type 2 diabetes in India.

S Kalyanasundaram, CEO, Sun Pharma also commented on the deal: "Through this partnership, the reach of sitagliptin and sitagliptin plus metformin will be enhanced amongst doctors and patients in India, helping them efficaciously manage the disease."

Sitagliptin is an oral antihyperglycaemic of the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor class.

Two of the scientists behind the drug's discovery were recently honoured by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) with its 2011 Discoverers Award.

26th April 2011

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