Less than a fortnight after setting up a branded generics joint venture, Merck & Co and India's Sun Pharmaceutical Industries have signed another pact, this time covering the US firm’s diabetes blockbuster Januvia.

The firms have signed “an India-specific strategic partnership agreement” under which Sun will have the right to market, promote and distribute the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor Januvia (sitagliptin) and Janumet (sitagliptin plus metformin), under different brand names. KG Ananthakrishnan, managing director of Merck, Sharp & Dohme in India, noted that the pact will increasing market access to the drugs in a country suffering from “the high disease burden of type 2 diabetes”.

Sun’s chief executive Subramanian Kalyanasundaram,  noted that his company  “enjoys a strong relationship with the physician community such as diabetologists, endocrinologists and consulting physicians treating patients with diabetes across India”.

Earlier this month, Merck and Sun signed a pact will see the two partners develop, manufacture and commercialise "new combinations and formulations of innovative, branded generics". The products will be developed using technologies from the Sun Pharma Advanced Research Co unit.