Arrangement will see Merck and Serum divide marketing rights for the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.

Merck & Co. and Serum Institute of India will develop and commercialize a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) for use in developing countries. The companies will form a product advisory committee to oversee activities required to develop and seek approval for PCV and pursue World Health Organization (WHO) prequalification.

Under terms of their collaboration agreement, Merck, through an affiliate, will receive specific rights to market PCV “in certain designated territories,” and Serum will receive specific rights in others. Both companies will contribute to the development and manufacture of PCV.

“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,” says Julie L. Gerberding, president, Merck Vaccines. “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.”

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