Merck joins coalition backing cutting-edge vaccine plant

Merck, IBM and Battelle have signed up to partner with GE Healthcare on a new, state-of-the-art vaccine plant that has been proposed by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. 

The vaccine facility backers want to build a new vaccine facility using cutting-edge technologies that can respond on an emergency basis to bioterror attacks, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Business Times. Merck would contribute its drug-development expertise, with IBM handling IT and Battelle doing the pre-clinical work and research.

UPMC set up a nonprofit corporation for the vaccine manufacturing project, which they propose building near the old Pittsburgh airport. Backers say the facility would employ 1,000 people.

"We are committed to solving the most critical problems in human health and stand ready to be a full partner in this impressive public-private initiative," Battelle Vice President John Wade said in a statement.

- check out the story from the Pittsburgh Business Times
- here's the press release

(Editor's Note: This story originally appeared citing figures on the overall cost of the plant and partner contributions which UPMC officials say were not correct. This version corrects the story and adds the link to the official release as well as the corrected PBT piece.)