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Alopexx Vaccine Announces Licensing Agreement with Merck Animal Health

CONCORD, Mass., Jan. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Alopexx Vaccine, LLC announced today that it has entered into an exclusive global license agreement with Merck Animal Health to develop and commercialize its poly-N-acetyl glucosamine (PNAG) vaccine for Rhodococcus equi (R. equi) pneumonia in foals, as well as other infections in the equine field. The PNAG target, which was identified by Gerald B. Pier, Ph.D. at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, has been identified as a conserved surface polysaccharide produced by major bacterial, fungal and protozoal parasites  which can be addressed using a single antigen vaccination.  Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"Published data describing the activity of this vaccine in foals indicates that it has the potential to prevent a broad range of bacterial, fungal and parasitic equine infections.  We look forward to collaborating with Merck Animal Health on the further development of this vaccine for the prevention of infections in horses," said Daniel Vlock, MD., CEO of Alopexx.

"Merck Animal Health is a leader in developing veterinary vaccines. Our partnership with Alopexx has the potential to deliver game-changing technology that fills an unmet need in equine medicine and improves the lives of horses," said Wendy Vaala, Director of Scientific Marketing Affairs for Merck Animal Health.

In studies performed under the direction of Dr. Noah Cohen, Director of the Equine Infectious Disease Laboratory at the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at  Texas A&M University and Dr. Colette Cywes-Bentley and Dr. Gerald Pier at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Alopexx's vaccine  demonstrated 91% protective efficacy against R. equi  in foals born to immunized mares.  These results were published by investigators at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Woman's Hospital and Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (PLOS Pathogens July 19, 2018).  There are currently no licensed R. equi vaccines on the market.    

About Alopexx Vaccines, LLC
Alopexx Vaccines, LLC part of the Alopexx Enterprises portfolio of companies, specializes in the development of vaccines against a range of pathogens and infections.  For more information please visit

About Merck Animal Health
For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals™, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, wellbeing and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit or connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter at @MerckAH.

Christine de los Reyes
Business Development

Gina Nugent, Nugent Communications
(Investors and Media)

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Last Updated: 16-Jan-2019