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Boost for hypertension sufferers

22nd March 2006

An international agreement between two pharmaceutical companies could be good news for hypertension sufferers.

French firm NicOx and US outfit Merck announced yesterday they have joined forces to develop new hypertensive drugs.

The agreement, which will use NicOx’s proprietary nitric oxide-donating technology, comes on the back of a period of research collaboration.

It is hoped the deal will lead to the discovery and manufacture of compounds that can treat complications from hypertension, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems.

"We are very pleased to be entering into this new collaboration with NicOx, which aims to address one of the world’s leading health problems," said Anthony Ford-Hutchinson, executive vice president of research medicine at Merck.

"We believe NicOx’ innovative no-donating technology has the potential to lead to the development of new and improved antihypertensive medicines."

It is thought that around one in five people in the UK have high blood pressure.