Merck & Co and Sanofi have finalised the dissolution of their joint vaccines venture, Sanofi Pasteur MSD.
The former partners will now separately pursue vaccine development strategies for European patients, integrating their respective pipeline pursuits and products from the venture into their primary vaccines portfolios.
After over 20 years of business, the break-up came in the wake of poor growth, with Sanofi Pasteur MSD only bringing in sales of €824m in 2015 - less than a fifth of Sanofi's year-end vaccines sales of €4.7bn.
Each firm has a number of promising projects in the pipeline, with Sanofi and its vaccines unit Sanofi Pasteur focusing on vaccines for yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and dengue virus.
The French company also began research for a potential Zika vaccine in February last year.
Meanwhile, Merck & Co (known as MSD outside of North America) is expected to launch its Ebola vaccine this year after a phase III trial of 4,000 patients saw 100% efficacy after a single dose.
World Health Organization vaccines specialist Marie Paule Kieny said that the trial results were a “game-changer” for patients and for fighting future outbreaks of the virus.
In a joint statement, Sanofi and Merck said: “We are proud of Sanofi Pasteur MSD's successful 20-year history.
“Our joint venture has achieved considerable success over the past two decades from a public health and commercial perspective.
“We believe that focusing our efforts on opportunities unique to our respective companies will better position us to drive growth, execute in a more efficient manner and optimise vaccine coverage.”