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pharmiweb.com today | 06 March 2015

Merck and NewLink Genetics in Ebola Vaccine Collaboration

Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and NewLink Genetics Corporation (NASDAQ:NLNK), announced that they have entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement to research, develop, manufacture, and distribute NewLink’s investigational rVSV-EBOV (Ebola) vaccine candidate.

The vaccine candidate, originally developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), is currently being evaluated in Phase I clinical trials. Pending the results of ongoing Phase I trials the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced plans to initiate, in early 2015, a large randomized, controlled Phase III study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the rVSVEBOV vaccine and another investigational Ebola vaccine co-developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and GlaxoSmithKline....

“Effective Ebola vaccines will be a critical component of comprehensive prevention and control measures for people at risk of Ebola virus infection and to stem future outbreaks globally,” said Dr. Julie Gerberding, president of Merck Vaccines. “Merck is committed to applying our vaccine expertise to address important global health needs and, through our collaboration with NewLink, we hope to advance the public health response to this urgent international health priority.”

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