Indian research company inks deal with Merck

India's Advinus has been brought on by Merck to handle drug research projects. Advinus stands to gain up to $74.5 million for every development project Merck sends its way, and will start with two projects for metabolic disorders. The outfit will be responsible for early research and preclinical development. This is the first foray into India by Merck and represents another win for the burgeoning drug development industry in the country. "This collaboration provides an avenue for Advinus to gain access to cutting-edge technologies from Merck while leveraging its India-based discovery and development capabilities," said Advinus, which has two research centers in western India and in Bangalore. Advinus is 18 months old.

Up until now, analysts have seen the Asian market as a promising spot for drug development work as they leverage a well-educated group of scientists and lower costs. But only a fraction of the world's clinical development work has actually gone to the continent. Steadily, though, big pharma companies have been broadening their work in the region, making it a likely candidate for fast growth.

- here's the AP report on the deal

ALSO: Merck and KineMed have formed a collaboration that gives Merck access to its technology supporting research into the way the body metabolizes compounds. Report