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East meets West in India
MUMBAI, India-Nicholas Piramal India Ltd. and Merck & Co.-which operates in India through its subsidiary, MSD Pharmaceuticals Private Ltd.-recently announced a research and development collaboration agreement to discover and develop new drugs for two selected targets provided by Merck.
NPIL will be responsible for carrying out an integrated drug discovery program from hits to leads through preclinical candidate selection, followed by IND-enabling nonclinical studies and human clinical trials demonstrating proof-of-concept primarily for oncology indications. Merck will have an option to advance the most promising drug candidates into late-stage clinical trials and to commercialize those drug candidates.
Under the terms, NPIL will be eligible to receive milestone payments of as much as $175 million per target, in addition to royalties on sales of any products resulting from the collaboration.
"The Merck-Nicholas Piramal research collaboration is a major step in bringing the cross-border synergies to drug development which should have cost, quality and time advantages and should benefit patients worldwide in reducing the burden of disease," says Dr. Swati Piramal, director of strategic alliances and communications for NPIL.
Merck is also pleased with the potential for tapping into those cross-border synergies, with Dr. Merv Turner, Merck's senior vice president of worldwide licensing and external research noting: "This agreement furthers our strategy of building global alliances that expand and advance Merck's pipeline, especially in countries such as India with rapidly expanding drug discovery competencies."