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Merck announced an agreement with NewLink Genetics to acquire exclusive rights to its experimental Ebola vaccine, rVSV-EBOV, for $50 million.
Merck announced on Nov. 24, 2014, that it had entered into a worldwide license agreement with NewLink Genetics to gain exclusive rights to its investigational Ebola vaccine, joining GSK, Fujifilm, and Tekmira in the race to develop and gain approval for Ebola vaccines. The vaccine candidate, rVSV-EBOV (Ebola), was originally developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and is currently in Phase I clinical trials.
Under the agreement, Merck gains exclusive rights to the vaccine candidate as well as any follow-on products, however, PHAC will retain non-commercial rights to the vaccine. According to Reuters, NewLink will receive $50 million plus royalties from Merck in exchange for the rights to rVSV-EBOV.
“Effective Ebola vaccines will be a critical component of comprehensive prevention and control measures for people at risk of Ebola virus infection and to stem future outbreaks globally,” said Dr. Julie Gerberding, president of Merck Vaccines, in a press release.