Daily Management Review

Merck & Co. quits the race to develop COVID-19 vaccine


US pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co has withdrawn from an active battle to develop a vaccine against COVID-19.

Ian Rainey
Ian Rainey
According to The Daily Telegraph, the reason is that the vaccine, created by Merck together with the International Aids Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), did not produce a sufficient immune response in patients during the early stages of testing. 

This was weaker than in people who had not received the vaccine and had been infected with the coronavirus.

Merck was developing two versions of the vaccine, both of which drew on technology the company had used to develop other successful vaccines, including the Ebola vaccine. 

Meanwhile, the US company, along with its partner IAVI, still intends to continue working on the COVID-19 vaccine. The head of IAVI, Mark Feinberg, believes that the reason for the failure could be, for example, that the drug developed is more effective when taken in the form of a tablet than when administered intramuscularly. Although the reason could be something else, he added. 

In addition, Merck intends to continue working on two drugs to treat coronavirus. This work is being done in collaboration with Ridgeback Bio.

source: reuters.com