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As a result of the acquisition, Merck will have access to Harrisvaccine’s proprietary RNA Particle technology production platform.
Merck announced on Nov. 12, 2015 that the company is acquiring Harrisvaccines, a company that sells vaccines for both production and companion animals. Although the terms of the agreement were not be publically disclosed, the deal is expected to be finalized by the end of the fourth quarter of 2015.
Harrisvaccines is known for its RNA Particle technology, which employs a production platform suitable for a wide range of viruses and bacteria. Through this technology, the company targets specific pathogens it has collected from a farm, inserts specific genes conferring resistance to the pathogens into RNA particles, and uses these particles to create vaccines that are associated with herd-specific protection from the disease.
According to Merck, the platform helped create a vaccine to control Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, a virus that killed eight million piglets in 2013. Harrisvaccines will also use the platform to produce a vaccine to fight a Eurasian H5 subtype avian influenza vaccine, for which the company received a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection.