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MSD/Serum vaccine partnership

MSD is to form a partnership with India-based Serum Institute to develop and market a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) for use in developing countries

SD (known as Merck in the US and Canada) is to form a partnership with India-based Serum Institute to develop and market a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) for use in developing countries.

As part of the collaboration, the companies will form a product advisory committee to oversee all activities required to develop and seek approval for the PCV and pursue World Health Organisation (WHO) prequalification.

MSD, through an affiliate, will receive rights to market the PCV in designated territories and Serum will receive rights in other territories. Serum is the world's largest manufacturer of diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DTP) and MMR vaccines.

Both companies will contribute to the development and manufacture of PCV. Financial details of this agreement are not disclosed.

Pneumococcal disease is a bacterial infection that causes pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis and other life-threatening ailments.

It is estimated at least one million children die of pneumococcal disease every year, with developing countries hit the hardest.

3rd August 2011

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