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AstraZeneca pays $50 million for rights to Merck cancer drug

(Reuters) - Merck & Co Inc has licensed its experimental cancer drug to AstraZeneca Plc for a $50 million upfront fee in a deal that shows Britain's second-biggest drugmaker continuing to rebuild its pipeline.

Under the terms of the agreement, Merck, the No. 2 U.S. 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.

(Reporting by Shailesh Kuber; Editing by Sreejiraj Eluvangal)

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