Merck on Monday will jump into the fight against COVID-19 with three announcements to help it combat the disease.
First, the Kenilworth-based drugmaker will acquire Themis Bioscience, which is developing an experimental COVID-19 vaccine based on a measles vaccine that could begin human studies soon.
Secondly, it will work alongside nonprofit scientific research organization IAVI to develop a potential vaccine. And third, Merck is licensing an experimental drug from a small company called Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
“With our singular legacy and expertise in vaccines and anti-infective medicines, we know Merck has a responsibility to engage in the scientific community’s efforts to find new medicines and vaccines to bring this pandemic to an end,” said Merck Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Frazier.
Frazier also stated that the company intends to make any vaccine or medicine it develops for COVID-19 broadly accessible and affordable globally.