Merck, Serum Institute sign pneumococcal vaccine deal

Merck ($MRK) and the Serum Institute of India are joining forces to bring a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to emerging and developing markets. The deal includes a product advisory committee that will oversee the vaccine development and work towards World Health Organization prequalification for the product.

Under the terms of the agreement, a Merck affiliate will receive rights to market the product in certain designated territories, while Serum will receive rights in other territories.

"In working closely with Merck in the development of this collaboration it became clear that we share parallel public health goals and that our passion for getting vaccines to everyone who needs them is made even stronger by working together," said Cyrus Poonawalla, chairman of Serum Institute, in a release.

Serum-manufactured vaccines are used in approximately half of the world's child vaccinations, and Merck has developed one-third of the vaccines in the world, according to the company's release. No financial details of the development deal were disclosed.

- read the Merck release