Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced today it has entered into multiple agreements to support efforts to expand manufacturing capacity and supply of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 medicines and vaccines. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a division of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will provide Merck with funding of up to $268.8 million to adapt and make available a number of existing manufacturing facilities for the production of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 vaccines and medicines. Merck has also entered into agreements with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, to support the manufacturing and supply of Johnson & Johnson’s SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 vaccine. Merck will use its facilities in the United States to produce drug substance, formulate and fill vials of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.
“We are steadfast in our commitment to contribute to the global response to the pandemic as part of the remarkable efforts of the entire medical and scientific community,” said Mike Nally, executive vice president, Human Health at Merck. “This funding from BARDA will allow us to accelerate our efforts to scale up our manufacturing capacity to enable timely delivery of much needed medicines and vaccines for the pandemic.”
Under the terms of the BARDA agreement, Merck will adapt and make available some of the company’s existing manufacturing sites to accelerate manufacturing efforts for SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 vaccines and medicines. This funding is in addition to Merck’s continued investment in its global vaccines manufacturing network as part of its planned capital investments of more than $20 billion from 2020 through the end of 2024.
“At Merck, we have a rich legacy in vaccine manufacturing and look forward to combining our expertise with Johnson & Johnson to help increase supply and expand access to authorized SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 vaccines,” said Sanat Chattopadhyay, executive vice president and president, Merck Manufacturing Division.
Merck continues to be actively involved in discussions with governments, public health agencies, and other industry colleagues to identify additional areas of pandemic response where Merck can make a meaningful impact.