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Business deals

Eisai teams with Merck to boost sales of cancer drug

Japanese drugmaker bets future on using payments to devise dementia treatments

Eisai sees the development of treatments for Alzheimer's disease as the company's future earnings source.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Eisai said Thursday it has agreed to collaborate with U.S. counterpart Merck on development and marketing of the Japanese pharmaceutical company's cancer drug Lenvima, a deal that also brings a timely infusion of cash.

The Japanese drugmaker thinks it can use Merck's global marketing muscle to develop Lenvima into a billion-dollar blockbuster. "We expect to attain triple the sales we could manage alone," CEO Haruo Naito said at a news conference here covering the announcement.

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