One of several contracts held by drug research firm Scynexis produced a $1 million payday for the Durham-based company on Tuesday.

Merck paid Scynexis $1 million as a milestone payment related to a joint project on development of antifungal agents.

"Merck and Scynexis have collaborated for several years to discover and develop novel antifungal agents," said Merv Turner, Merck’s senior vice president for worldwide licensing and external research. "We are pleased with the progress we’ve made to date and with Scynexis’ contributions to our collaboration."

Scynexis, which was founded in 2000, works with several different partners in drug development, utilizing a variety of proprietary research technologies.

The company has drug development deals with Teijin Pharma, Merial, Norak Biosciences, Mitsubishi Pharma, Roche and Merck.

Scynexis has raised some $44 million in venture capital.