Earlier on Wednesday, drug maker Merck & Co. announced that it has decided to join forces with Serum Institute of India Ltd. in an effort to develop a child Pneumococcal vaccine for use in emerging and developing countries.
Pneumococcal disease occurs due to infection by a bacteria resulting in sickness including pneumonia and meningitis. Although the terms of agreement were not disclosed by Merck and Serum Institute, both companies are said to aid in the manufacture and development of the vaccine in addition to retaining individual rights to market the vaccine in separate regions.
The Merck manufactured Pneumovax 23 is a pneumococcal vaccine that protects against 23 bacterial strains, and is prescribed to young patients with frail immune systems and adults over the age of 65.
The world’s best seller Prevnar 13, a pneumococcal vaccine that protects against 13 bacterial strains, is manufactured by Pfizer, and the company is working towards obtaining approvals for sales of Prevnar 13 in adults.
In afternoon trading, Merck’s shares plummeted 30 cents to $32.60