Nicholas Piramal India Limited (NPIL),and Merck & Co  has signed a  research and development collaboration agreement to discover and develop new drugs for two selected targets provided by Merck.

Nicholas Piramal India Limited (NPIL), one of India's largest pharmaceutical companies and Merck & Co., which operates in India through its subsidiary, MSD Pharmaceuticals announced a research and development collaboration agreement to discover and develop new drugs for two selected targets provided by Merck.

NPIL will carry out an integrated drug discovery program – through pre-clinical candidate selection, followed by Investigational New Drug (IND)-enabling non-clinical studies and human clinical trials demonstrating proof-of-concept primarily for Oncology. Merck will have an option to advance the most promising drug candidates into late stage clinical trials and to commercialize these drug candidates.

Under the agreement NPIL will be eligible to receive milestone payments associated with progress in the development of drug candidates of up to $175 million per target, plus royalties on sales of any products resulting from the collaboration.