WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. (AP) — Merck & Co. has entered a partnership with Drugs for Neglected Disease initiative and will license to the institute drug candidates for tropical diseases that have no cure, or for which treatment could be improved. The agreement covers drug candidates for illnesses like visceral leishmaniasis and Chagas disease, potentially lethal parasitic illnesses spread by insects. Current treatment for those illnesses may be toxic, or very expensive, or difficult to administer, Merck said. Merck will give DNDi non-exclusive licenses for the drugs, meaning it can enter into other partnerships as well, and Merck will have the option to pursue late clinical development. DNDi, a not-for-profit foundation, will have joint intellectual property rights and will not have to make license payments on the drugs if they are approved for sale.