Merck, GE, IBM collaborate on vaccine plant

Plans are coming together for a major vaccine manufacturing plant intended for quick response to biological, chemical and radiological attacks. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center envisions an academia-industry-government collaboration, and it's drawing in some big names.

Merck will provide drug development and bioprocess counsel in a planned consortium of biopharmas. R&D giant Battelle will provide pre-clinical research, as well as model development for infectious diseases and for evaluations of product safety and efficacy. Battelle's services extend to the licensing of vaccines and therapeutics. IT will be provided by IBM.

These big guns join GE Healthcare, already at work with UPMC, which sees the venture as a federally funded non-profit subsidiary.

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