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Rediff.com  » Business » Merck, Ranbaxy drug development deal called off

Merck, Ranbaxy drug development deal called off

January 06, 2011 16:02 IST
US drug maker Merck & Co has terminated its nearly two-year-old alliance with Ranbaxy Laboratories to develop anti-infective medicines, which could have fetched the Indian firm $100 million over a period of five years.

Both Ranbaxy and MSD Pharmaceuticals, Indian affiliate of US-based Merck & Co Inc confirmed the development, but refused to give the details or reasons for ending the pact.

The agreement between Merck and Ranbaxy, was signed in May 2008, just a month before Ranbaxy's former promoters billionaire brothers Malvinder and Shivinder Singh sold their stake in it.

"Yes, the agreement has been called off but cannot give the details," a Ranbaxy spokesperson said. The pact could have resulted in payments of $100 million to the Indian firm over a period of five years. As per the agreement, Ranbaxy and Merck were to work together to develop clinically validated anti-bacterial and anti-fungal drug candidates.

The spokesperson for MSD Pharmaceuticals confirmed the development. "I can only confirm that research partnership has ended, but I cannot tell the reasons for it."

On Thursday, Ranbaxy scrips were trading at Rs 597.85 per share down 0.76 per cent from the previous close during the afternoon trade on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

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