AMES, Iowa, Oct. 01, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NewLink Genetics Corporation (NLNK) announced today that the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has exercised an $18 million option on NewLink Genetics' existing contract to support the scale-up of the manufacturing process relating to its investigational rVSV-ZEBOV GP (Ebola) vaccine candidate. BARDA made an initial $30 million contract award to NewLink in late 2014 and is now providing additional funding to continue development of the Ebola vaccine candidate. Merck (MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, has the license for research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of the rVSV-ZEBOV GP (Ebola) vaccine.
"This additional funding by BARDA will help NewLink and Merck accelerate large-scale production of this Ebola vaccine candidate and demonstrates government commitment to this important project," said Dr. Charles Link, CEO and Chief Scientific Officer of NewLink Genetics. "In collaboration with Merck, we will continue to work diligently to bring this vaccine candidate to patients in need as quickly as possible."
The rVSV-ZEBOV GP (Ebola) vaccine candidate was originally developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and was subsequently licensed to a subsidiary of NewLink Genetics. In late 2014, Merck licensed the vaccine from NewLink Genetics to apply Merck's vaccine expertise to help accelerate the development of this vaccine candidate. Clinical studies of the vaccine candidate are ongoing.
About NewLink Genetics Corporation
NewLink Genetics is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel immuno-oncology products to improve treatment options for patients with cancer. NewLink Genetics' portfolio includes biologic and small-molecule immunotherapy product candidates intended to treat a wide range of oncology indications. NewLink Genetics' product candidates are designed to harness multiple components of the immune system to combat cancer without significant incremental toxicity, either as a monotherapy or in combination with other treatment regimens.
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