LONDON - Chiroscience Group plc, of Cambridge, has reached an agreement with Maruishi Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. for the development and marketing rights to Chirocaine, a chiral form of the local anesthetic bupivacaine, in Japan.

Under terms of the deal, Osaka-based Maruishi will have exclusive rights to develop and register a series of products under the Chirocaine trademark. The Japanese company will make an initial payment of £3.5 million (US$5.8 million) as well as undisclosed milestone payments and royalties, and will fully fund the development work in Japan.

Zeneca plc, of London, announced in March that it had licensed Chirocaine in all territories other than Japan. -Nuala Moran