Sharing -not competing- in the fight against Covid-19
Merck is accelerating development and production, and bringing resources and expertise to help identify effective and scalable solutions to the pandemic of Covid-19
At Merck, we are accelerating development and production, and bringing resources and expertise to help identify effective and scalable solutions to the pandemic of Covid-19. Thus, since the beginning of the pandemic, we have diversified our efforts to provide value and meet the needs of scientists around the world, for prevention and diagnosis, as well as for the development of vaccines and therapies against Covid-19.
One of the key issues to stop the spread of the terrible pandemic the whole world is suffering is the diagnosis, the identification of positive patients. In this field, Merck is helping to bring innovative coronavirus detection and diagnostic tests to society by providing a wide range of products needed for their manufacture.
Thus, from our Life Science division, Merck supports more than 35 tests research, to whose manufacturers we provide critical raw materials and services, such as custom manufacturing and R&D support. We also consider it vitally important to partner with them to develop strong supply chains ensuring that tests can be provided to those who need them around the world.
In addition, Merck has expanded its strategic collaboration with BioNTech, the biotechnology company that co-developed with Pfizer the Covid-19 vaccine approved last December (BNT162b2). As a result of this expanded collaboration, which already existed prior to the pandemic, Merck will significantly accelerate the supply of urgently needed lipids and also will increase the quantity of deliveries to BioNTech by the end of 2021.
Lipids are used to encapsulate messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules to help them reach the target cells in the human body to ensure that the vaccine is effective. It is therefore a key ingredient to produce mRNA therapies, although its availability was proving to be not enough at a time when vaccine production needs to be scaled up to cope with the pandemic. Few companies in the world are currently able to produce tailor-made lipids in significant quantities and according to the highest quality requirements needed for vaccine production.
Merck is a world leader in lipids and continues to work intensively to expand its already very high production capacity for these molecules. Merck also collaborates with many companies in the industry that use lipid-based technologies to develop Covid-19 vaccines and treatments.