AstraZeneca pays $50m for drug rights

Merck & Co has licensed its experimental cancer drug to AstraZeneca Plc for a $50m (£31m) upfront fee in a deal that shows the UK’s second-biggest drugmaker continuing to rebuild its pipeline. Under the terms of the agreement, Merck, the second-largest US drugmaker, will also be eligible to receive future payments related to development and regulatory milestones, as well as tiered royalties. The drug, MK-1775, is currently in mid-stage trials in combination with standard-of-care therapies for the treatment of patients with certain types of ovarian cancer.