Orchid to develop drugs for bacteriel and fungal infections

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Chennai,Sep 29(UNI) Orchid Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals, a leading pharmaceutical company, today announced establishment of strategic Research Collaboration and License Agreement with Merck and Co, for discovery, development and commercialisation of drugs for the treatment of bacterial and fungal infections.

Announcing this at a press conference here, Mr K Raghavendra Rao, Managing Director, Orchid said under the agreement, the company would discover and develop drugs in the areas of anti-cancer, anti-inflammation, anti-infective and diabetes.

After developing the compounds, Orchid would give licence to Merck to market the drugs and receive royalty in turn, he said adding the company was also poised to discover and develop drugs in the areas of obesity and pain.

''Under the terms of the agreement, Orchid will be paid undisclosed upfront sum and is eligible to receive payments totalling more than 100 million US dollars, associated with the achievement of various research and development milestones,'' he said.

The agreement contemplated that Merck and Orchid would work on multiple targets and compounds, which would be evaluated against specific criteria for discovery and development.

Orchid has invested about Rs 15 crore and established a world-class infrastructure for discovery and development of new drug candidates, Mr Rao said.

''We are extremely happy that Merck has chosen to collaborate with us to leverage our anti-infectives discovery, development and manufacturing capabilities to bring new anti-infective medicines to meet global healthcare needs,''Mr Rao added.

UNI WS DB 1554

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