Merck sets up non-profit lab for vaccinesMarch 2010
One of the world's largest pharmaceuticals companies has joined forces with a medical charity to set up a research and development project to manufacture vaccines for the third world.
Merck and the Wellcome Trust, the UK's largest charity, have created the MSD-Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories, a non-profit venture to develop cheap vaccines.
The venture, funded with £90million (€104m, $143m) – half from each organization – will concentrate on products for diseases commonly affecting low-income countries.
Many illnesses in developing countries could easily be prevented with vaccines, but they are often too expensive to develop commercially or too difficult to store in hot climates.
This is the first time a research charity and a pharmaceuticals group have become partners in a separate entity with equally shared funding and decision-making rights.
The partnership will last for seven years. The laboratories will carry a staff of about 60 researchers, based in India.
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