Issue Date: December 21, 2009
Merck Makes Moves In Protein Production
Merck & Co. has agreed to acquire Avecia’s biologics business for an undisclosed sum. With roughly 500 employees in Billingham, England, Avecia Biologics is a contract manufacturer of microbially derived pharmaceutical proteins. Merck says it will honor all contractual commitments and discuss future needs with the business’ customers. Separately, Pfenex, a recent Dow Chemical spin-off, has licensed its protein production technology to Merck. In exchange for up to $52 million in up-front and milestone payments, Merck will be able to use Pseudomonas fluorescens-based recombinant protein expression technology to make a vaccine candidate.
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