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GEN News Highlights : Dec 27, 2006

Merck and Crucell Sign Cross-Licensing Vaccine Production Agreement

Merck gets exclusive rights to Crucell technology, while Crucell obtains access to Merck’s manufacturing capabilities.

Crucell received access to Merck & Co.'s large-scale manufacturing technology for its AdVac®-based vaccines. Also, as part of this cross-licensing agreement, Merck obtained the right to use Crucell technology on an exclusive basis in additional undisclosed vaccine fields.

"This agreement will make it possible to speed up the delivery of our malaria and TB vaccines to the people in need, and makes it realistic to do so on the mass scale required," says Jaap Goudsmit, CSO at Crucell. "It also opens the way for Crucell to speed up the Ebola program with the VRC, which has recently entered a Phase I clinical trial. But most importantly, it brings the reality of vaccines such as these significantly closer."

Crucell's malaria vaccine program is supported by the NIAID, and the TB vaccine program is a collaboration with the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation. Both programs are currently in Phase 1 clinical trials.