Merck KGaA budgets $1.58B for drug R&D

With about 40 drug development projects in the pipeline, Germany's Merck KGaA says it will spend about €1 billion ($1.58 billion) on drug research this year. That R&D budget represents about 22 percent of sales and is a big increase on last year's budget of €890 million. Merck officials say they're out to sell their diabetes research division, and plan to focus on four key areas: cancer, infertility, nervous system and autoimmune diseases.

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