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Merck Partnership Supports Australian-Developed SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccine Candidate

On 10 August, Merck Life Sciences, Managing Director, Rebecca Lee, conducted a Q&A video interview with Flinders University, Professor and Founder of Vaxine, Nikolai Petrovsky. Rebecca and Nikolai discussed the history of pandemics, COVID-19, the value of partnerships and the success of phase one clinical trials of COVAX-19®, a vaccine candidate for the fight against COVID-19.

COVAX-19® is the first Australian-developed COVID-19 vaccine to pass phase one clinical trials in Australia successfully. Phase two clinical trials are set to begin in September.

Sypharma, an Australian biopharmaceutical formulation company, providing contract manufacturing of COVAX-19® and Advax™ adjuvant for COVID-19 in partnership with Vaxine, an Australian biotechnology company focusing on the development of innovative vaccine technologies.
Merck has a long-standing relationship with Sypharma and Vaxine for more than 10 years, supporting the manufacture of Advax™ adjuvants with manufacturing solutions, single-use, filtration products and process development expertise.

Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/B2W3Vf4OWOs

Video interview topics include:
• The history of pandemics | time 01:08
• Consequences of pandemics now and into the future | time 03:07
• Vaxine: The development of vaccines and the opportunity presented | time 06:03
• Development and manufacturing | time 09:09
• Insect vs. mammalian | time 11:56
• Speed and cost | time 15:54
• COVAX-19® vaccine candidate for COVID-19 | time 18:23
• Completing phase one clinical trial | time 20:20
• Phase two & three clinical trials | time 21:30
• Managing safety | time 23:10
• Timeframes for clinical phase’s | time 24:20
• Vaccine approval and the regulatory environment | time 26:01
• A different approach to how we regulate and approve | time 30:05
• What has Merck allowed you to do | time 34:08
• Partnerships and solving tough scientific problems | time 36:57
• Conclusion | time 37:22

Interviewer: Merck Life Science, Managing Director, Rebecca Lee.
Interviewee: Flinders University, Professor of Medicine and Public Health, and Founder of Vaxine, Nikolai Petrovsky.

The video interview was conducted on Monday, 10 August 2020.

The video interview was conducted over a video call.

COVID-19 began as an epidemic, before making its way around the world in a matter of months and becoming a pandemic.
Globally, as of 27 August 2020, there have been 24,021,218 confirmed cases of COVID-19, reported to WHO.1
Until there is an effective vaccine against COVID-19, we must continue to do the hard, tedious, work of keeping ourselves safe—by wearing face coverings, keeping social distance, regularly washing our hands, and staying home when we’re sick including getting COVID tested.

For interviews or additional information, please contact
Lucas Bracken, Marketing Communications, Merck Life Science, +61 (0)409 036 895 lucas.bracken@merckgroup.com

1. Latest data and information on COVID-19. World Health Organization (WHO) Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard https://covid19.who.int/.

Merck operates across three business sectors – Healthcare, Life Science and Performance Materials. Rebecca Lee is the Managing Director of Merck Life Science.

COVAX-19® vaccine candidate for COVID-19 is registered and owned by Vaxine. COVAX-19® vaccine comprises a recombinant spike protein antigen formulated with Vaxine’s proprietary Advax™ adjuvant, which drives a potent T cell and neutralizing antibody response against the target virus.

About Merck
Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 57,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2019, Merck generated sales of € 16.2 billion in 66 countries.
Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck’s technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Performance Materials.