Merck KGaA and Baylor Partner on Vaccines for Neglected Diseases

Through its life-sciences business, MilliporeSigma, Merck KGaA will collaborate with Baylor College of Medicine to advance vaccine development for neglected and emerging diseases.
Aug 09, 2017
By BioPharm International Editors

MilliporeSigma, the life-sciences business of Merck KGaA, announced on August 8, 2017 that it has formed a strategic alliance with Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, and Baylor’s vaccine product development partnership (PDP), Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development (Texas Children’s CVD) to advance vaccine research and development for neglected and emerging infections.

MilliporeSigma’s experts in process development and formulation are working with Texas Children’s CVD scientists at Baylor to optimize the vaccine manufacturing process to increase vaccine stability and yield. Initially, these activities are targeting schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease in tropical and subtropical regions. The collaboration includes training and exchange of technical know-how in process development and formulation and filling knowledge gaps that exist from research and development to manufacturing, with a focus on neglected and emerging diseases.

“Our purpose is to solve the toughest problems in life science by collaborating with the global scientific community,” said Udit Batra, CEO, MilliporeSigma in a company press release. “The alliance with Baylor College of Medicine, one of the premier research universities in the world, is the ideal partnership to advance vaccine development and manufacturing. Together, we will support the fight against infectious diseases.”

Dr. Maria-Elena Bottazzi, deputy director of Texas Children’s CVD, also said in the press release, “The scientific knowledge exchange from this partnership will catalyze and accelerate the product development of much-needed vaccines against the diseases of poverty. It will serve as a framework for capacity building and will establish self-reliance in vaccine development and manufacturing around the globe.”

“We are excited to partner with MilliporeSigma in order to advance this important vaccine. Today, schistosomiasis is considered one of the world’s most devastating neglected tropical diseases, affecting hundreds of millions of the world’s poorest people. We are excited about our new collaboration with MilliporeSigma to advance this lifesaving vaccine,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, founding dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor and co-director of the PDP, in the press release.

This collaboration, together with the recently announced public-private partnership with the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (James Cook University, Queensland), the Australian Government’s investment promotion agency, and Baylor College of Medicine, furthers both parties’ goal to advance research in neglected diseases globally.

Source: Merck KGaA

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