Eli Lilly has struck a development deal with the research arm of Hutchison China-Meditech that is worth up to $29 million in milestones for each new drug candidate developed from its library of herbal remedies. The partnership marks another step forward for biotechnology R&D in China, as local companies strike up new deals with drug developers around the world. In addition to the milestones, Chi-Med is pocketing an undisclosed upfront fee along with payments to support the research, which will initially focus on oncology and inflammation. Some analysts say the deal should be a boon to China's drug development industry, which has been afflicted by a series of scandals.
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