Serum Institute of India Ltd. and Merck (known outside the United States and Canada as MSD), have entered into an agreement to develop and commercialize a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) for use in the emerging and developing world countries of the world..
Pneumococcal disease is a bacterial infection that causes pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis and other life-threatening ailments. Current estimates show that at least 1 million children die of pneumococcal disease every year, including mostly young children in developing countries.
"Serum Institute is committed to improving access to and affordability of vaccines for children throughout the world. In working closely with Merck in the development of this collaboration it became clear that we share parallel public health goals and that our passion for getting vaccines to everyone who needs them is made even stronger by working together".
-Dr. C. S. Poonawalla, Chairman & Managing Director
Together, Merck and Serum will form a Product Advisory Committee to oversee the activities required to develop and seek approval for PCV and pursue World Health Organization (WHO) prequalification. Under the terms of the agreement, Merck, through an affiliate, will receive specific rights to market PCV in certain designated territories and Serum will receive specific rights in other territories. Both companies will contribute to the development and manufacture of PCV. Specific financial details of this agreement are confidential. This collaboration does not impact the on-going pneumococcal vaccine development programs in both the organizations.
"Working side by side with Serum gives us the best chance of developing and bringing a product to the market that will help to protect more babies and children," said. Expanding vaccine access to emerging and developing markets is a top priority and we feel strongly that this collaboration will be a giant step toward impacting the devastation of pneumococcal disease".
-Julie L. Gerberding, President, Merck Vaccines