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Wellcome Trust and Merck launch joint venture to develop affordable vaccines
Date:9/17/2009

LONDON and WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., Sept. 17, 2009 The Wellcome Trust and Merck & Co., Inc. today announced the creation of the MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories (www.hillemanlaboratories.in), the first of its kind research and development joint venture with a not-for-profit mission to focus on developing affordable vaccines to prevent diseases that commonly affect low-income countries.

The joint venture marks the first time a research charity and a pharmaceutical company have partnered to form a separate entity with equally shared funding and decision-making rights. Pairing two of the world's preeminent healthcare institutions provides an opportunity to integrate the best of both to drive the investment and expertise needed to develop and deliver vaccines to low-income countries.

The Vision: A Sustainable, Not-For-Profit Operating Model to Turn Innovative Science into Practical Solutions for Those in Greatest Need

The heart of this concept is the creation of a sustainable R&D organization that operates like a business, but with a not-for-profit operating model, to address the vaccine needs of low-income countries. As well as developing new vaccines in areas of unmet need, the Hilleman Laboratories will also work on optimizing existing vaccines, an important and powerful way of increasing the impact of vaccination in resource-limited settings. By working in partnership, the Wellcome Trust and Merck seek to achieve what neither can do alone.

"Linking the ingenuity of academic research with the know-how of industry is vital if we are to produce a new generation of vaccines to reduce the burden of infectious diseases in low- income countries," said Sir Mark Walport, Director and CEO, the Wellcome Trust. "The Hilleman Laboratories partnership brings together the requisite skills in a powerful way and Merck is the ideal partner because of its impressive histor
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Contact: Katrina Nevin-Ridley
k.nevin-ridley@wellcome.ac.uk
44-207-611-8540
Wellcome Trust
Source:Eurekalert

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