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April 14, 2020

Merck Supports Jenner Institute to Reach the First Milestone in COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturing.

Merck, Jenner, Vaccine

Photo: Merck is partnering with The Jenner Institute in the Institute’s efforts to develop a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19.

DARMSTADT, Germany, April 14, 2020 — Merck, a leading science and technology company, and The Jenner Institute today announced that the Jenner Institute had laid the foundation for large-scale production of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, ChAdOx1nCoV-19.

With patients enrolled for clinical trials for this vaccine, the rapid development of the large-scale manufacturing process is a critical step in quickly and safely delivering it from the lab to patients.

“We have brought the future of vaccine manufacturing to the present,” said Udit Batra, member of the Merck Executive Board and CEO, Life Science. “This is an important step in treating COVID-19 and other diseases that impact global public health. This work marks a milestone in the vaccine manufacturing development journey, as clinical testing continues to advance.”

Tapping into Merck’s previous work provided a substantial head start for plans to scale-up the manufacture of Jenner’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Developing the manufacturing process itself would typically take at least six months to a year. Still, in just two months, Merck supported the Jenner team and their collaborators to evaluate the existing manufacturing platform for use with the new vaccine candidate.

Over the last two years, Merck’s collaboration with The Jenner Institute has led to the development of a rapid, scalable platform following good manufacturing practices and using disposable technologies for the Institute’s adenovirus platform. While the initial work with a rabies vaccine candidate, the platform was validated with different adenovirus constructs aiming at accelerating future vaccine development and manufacturing. Speed is a significant challenge when facing a new outbreak, such as this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. The organizations first announced their partnership to develop more robust and scalable vaccine manufacturing processes in April 2018.

“The Jenner Institute’s team was able to develop the 10-liter manufacturing scale process based on the previously generated platform with Merck, preparing us for the next round of scale-up efforts,” said Dr. Sandy Douglas, vaccine manufacturing scale-up project lead at The Jenner Institute. “Industry collaborations, such as ours with Merck, showcase the value that these efforts have in accelerating our response to outbreaks and pandemics and quickly delivering lifesaving vaccines to benefit the global population.”

The Jenner Institute was founded in November 2005 to develop innovative vaccines against major global diseases. Uniquely it focuses both on diseases of humans and livestock and tests new vaccine approaches in parallel in different species.

The Institute comprises the research activities of more than 30 Jenner Investigators who head leading research groups spanning human and veterinary vaccine research and development. Together the Institute Investigators comprise one of the most significant non-profit sector research and development activities in vaccinology.

The Institute is a partnership between the University of Oxford and The Pirbright Institute and is the successor to the former Edward Jenner Institute for Vaccine Research.

Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science, and performance materials. Around 57,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live.

Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been essential to Merck’s technological and scientific advances since its founding in 1668.

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 12:29 PM | Link to this Post

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