Merck & Brazilian Non-Profit Collaborate to Develop Mosquito-borne Infection (Dengue) Vaccine
Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) is a global healthcare solutions provider that has been working towards bringing forward medicine and vaccines for some the of the world’s most challenging diseases for more than a century. They are committed to increasing health care access and continue to be at the leading edge of research.
Merck will be collaborating with a Brazilian non-profit producer of immunobiologic products Instituto Butantan to develop vaccines that will protect against the mosquito-borne infection, dengue virus. Merck and Instituto Butantan will share clinical data and other information from the dengue vaccine programs. Both companies materials are licensed from the NIAID. Instituto Butantan will receive $26 million upfront from Merck and will be eligible for up to $75 million at the achievement of certain milestones in the development of the vaccine.
Dengue fever occurs in tropical and subtropical areas of the world and is a mosquito-borne disease. Mild dengue fever is characterized by a high fever, muscle and joint pain, and a rash. The severe form of the illness can cause severe bleeding, a sudden drop in blood pressure, and death. Nearly 400 million dengue infections occur each year which leads to 500,000 hospitalizations.
“This agreement recognizes the tremendous progress that scientists and clinicians at the Instituto Butantan have made in developing their investigational dengue virus vaccine. Through our new collaboration, we together have made a commitment to help protect people around the world who are at risk of developing dengue virus disease.” -Dr. Roger M. Perlmutter, president, Merck Research Laboratories
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