Indian developer inks R&D pact with Merck

China may have seized the spotlight in the Pacific Rim recently with a string of new research developments, but India's still a player. India's Nicholas Piramal has inked an R&D pact with Merck, agreeing to advance experimental therapies for two oncology targets selected by Merck in exchange for milestone payments of up to $175 million for each new drug. Nicholas Piramal will be responsible for taking new drugs from discovery to mid-stage trials, and Merck will cherry pick the therapies it likes the best for late-stage trials.

"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," said Merv Turner, senior vice president at Merck.

- see this release on the deal
- here's the report from MarketWatch for more

ALSO: Eli Lilly, meanwhile, says it will invest $100 million in China's R&D through Lilly Asian Ventures. It's primary focus will be fledgling life science companies. Report