Good morning, I’m Selina McKee and here are the daily news headlines for Wednesday 13 December.

Merck & Co said yesterday at its R&D briefing that it plans to file three New Drug Applications next year: MK-518, a first-in-class HIV integrase inhibitor; the insomnia drug gaboxadol, which is being developed with Lundbeck, and the cholesterol-lowerer MK-524A.

In addition, the group is hoping to have another four products in Phase III trials by mid-2007, including MK-524B, which combines its blockbuster statin Zocor with the new cholesterol buster MK-524A.

Merck has already delivered an almost four-fold increase in research productivity in its early-stage pipeline since 2002, said Head of Research Peter Kim.

In other news, GlaxoSmithKline has forged an alliance with Epix Pharmaceuticals that could be worth over $1 billion to the small US firm. The companies will work together on the development of medicines targeting four G-protein coupled Receptors..

Under the terms of the deal Epix will get an initial payment of $35 million, payments of up to $1.2 billion based on achieving certain and double-digit royalties on sales of all

future products. Unsurprisingly, the group’s shares soared to end the day up over 30% at $7.19.

That all from me for today, but tune in again tomorrow for more industry headline