Merck, NewLink nab $30M from BARDA to help manufacture Ebola vax

NewLink Genetics ($NLNK) and its new partner Merck ($MRK) have gotten a $30 million grant from the U.S. government to help with manufacturing and development of the Ebola vaccine the two are working on. The grant is from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which has been providing funds to help get Ebola vaccines and drugs to market as an epidemic of the illness has swept through parts of Africa. While NewLink's vaccine showed promise for fighting the illness, the Ames, IA, company lacked the resources to quickly ramp up trials and manufacturing of the product. Last month Merck stepped with a licensing deal, adding the heft of a Big Pharma player. Merck's Vero technology, which the company uses to make the rotavirus vaccine RotaTeq, is expected to be able to significantly boost the manufacturing capacity of the vaccine. Release | More