Nicholas Piramal, Merck sign agreement

Nicholas Piramal, Merck sign agreement

Nicholas Piramal Ltd, maker of medicines for ailments ranging from diabetes to infections, has signed an agreement with Merck & Co. to discover and develop new cancer drugs.

Nicholas Piramal will get milestone payments of as much as $175 million (about Rs688 crore) on each of two selected targets provided by Merck, and sales royalties on any products that may result from the collaboration, the Mumbai-based company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange on Monday.

Merck will have the option to conduct late-stage clinical trials and commercialize the drugs, Nicholas Piramal said.

The Indian company will be responsible for carrying out an integrated drug-discovery programme followed by non-clinical and clinical studies, it said.