Merck to Support SaudiVax in Becoming First Developer and Manufacturer of Halal Vaccines and Biotherapeutics in Saudi Arabia

Merck to work with SaudiVax to design best-in-class facility for Saudi-based manufacturing of life-saving biotherapeutics

SaudiVax selects Merck for its expertise in GMP manufacturing, biopharmaceutical manufacturing equipment, consulting services, and product testing and development

The Merck-SaudiVax collaboration underscores both companies’ commitment to expand access to life-saving and life-enhancing biologic therapies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Nov. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced that it will support SaudiVax Ltd., based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to design a best-in-class, multi-modality manufacturing facility to localize manufacturing of biologics and vaccines for the MENA region.

Merck today announced that it will support SaudiVax Ltd. to design a best-in-class, multi-modality manufacturing facility to localize manufacturing of biologics and vaccines for the MENA region.

SaudiVax is positioned to become the first developer and manufacturer of Halal vaccines and biotherapeutics in Saudi Arabia, leveraging Merck’s integrated Contract Development Manufacturing Services (CDMO), innovative product offerings and single-use technologies.

“With more than 30 years of experience designing, building and operating our own global CDMO network, we are pleased to support SaudiVax in fulfilling its mission to localize the development and manufacturing of vaccines and therapeutics in Saudi Arabia,” said Sébastien Ribault, Head of End-to-End Contract Development Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) Services, Life Science business sector at Merck. “This partnership brings together our shared commitment to expand access to life-saving and life-enhancing therapies.”

The first phase of this collaboration will focus on conceptual and equipment selection studies, followed by facility fit-out, consulting, and process development services to enable SaudiVax to achieve self-sufficient cGMP manufacturing that meets international regulatory requirements. As part of this first phase, Merck will support the training of SaudiVax employees in its M Lab™ Collaboration Center in Molsheim, France, and on its End-to-End GMP site located in Martillac, France. Merck and SaudiVax formalized their collaboration with a signing ceremony on October 24.

“Merck’s comprehensive expertise, services, and bioprocessing products, coupled with its focus on both the customer and international regulatory requirements, makes them the ideal strategic partner to enable us to localize the manufacturing of high-quality, Halal, and affordable vaccines and biotherapeutics in Saudi Arabia for distribution throughout the MENA region,” said Mazen Hassanain, Managing Director of SaudiVax.

About Merck
Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and electronics. Around 58,000 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 2020, Merck generated sales of € 17.5 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 Electronics.

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