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15 Dec 2021

Merck KGaA to design manufacturing process for first Nigerian vaccine plant through Innovative Biotech partnership

Merck will design the manufacturing process to help accelerate self-sufficient vaccine development and manufacturing in West Africa

Merck KGaA has agreed to design the manufacturing process for the first vaccine production facility in Nigeria through a collaboration with Innovative Biotech.

The partnership will initially focus on designing the fill and finish facility, incorporating the Merck KGaA’s Mobius single-use technology. The companies will then focus on enabling continuous manufacturing.

The deal is part of the West African pandemic readiness programme, which aims to develop high-quality and affordable vaccines locally in the African nations.

“We are proud to provide the technical support and expertise that could help enable the first vaccine facility in Nigeria and localize vaccine development in the West Africa region," said Andrew Bulpin, Head of Process Solutions, Life Science business sector at Merck KGaA.

TechnoVax — Innovative Biotech’s licensor — is developing a virus-like-particle (VLP)-based vaccine to target variants of COVID-19. Already, provisional results from the preclinical studies of the VLP-based vaccine have shown promise for virus neutralisation.

TechnoVax is a 2019 recipient of Life Science’s Advance Biotech Grant for developing a virus-like particle platform that facilitates the development and production of a range of vaccines targeting the prevention of respiratory diseases, hemorrhagic fevers, immunodeficiency and cancers.

BioReliance, the life sciences business sector of Merck, has been supporting Innovative Biotech’s effort with its testing services, technical transfer support and single-use facility design.

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