Merck & Co. has set up the Merck Research Venture Fund that will invest $250 million in early-stage biotech firms and enable the drugmaker's scientists to offer expert advice to such companies. David Nicholson, Merck's senior vice president, will lead the new fund. The venture fund is in addition to the $250 million Global Health Innovation Fund, which was established by Merck earlier this year that aims to infuse funding into nonpharmaceutical health care firms.

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