Merck Millipore – DCVMN Partnership

Partnership objectives

Share knowledge and expertise on the latest developments in field of vaccine technology.

DCVMN main objectives:

  • To form a voluntary public health-driven alliance of vaccine manufactures from developing countries;
  • To strive for international recognition such that developing country vaccine manufactures have an essential role in assuring the availability of quality vaccines for national immunization programs;
  • To encourage continuation of Research and Development efforts to meet the emerging vaccine needs in the developing world;
  • Foster the development of members of the network to attain the status of WHO pre-qualification;
  • Foster collaboration and communication amongst members of the network and actively participate in the international vaccine community to accomplish network specified goal.

What are the health needs and challenges?

Emerging countries are lacking access to quality vaccines.

Immunization helps to avert an estimated 2.5 million child deaths per year.  Nonetheless, millions of children in developing countries – almost 20% of all children born every year – do not get the complete immunizations scheduled for their first year of life. In 2013, the number of unprotected children under one year of age was 21.8 million. Nearly 70% of these children live in ten countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Vietnam and South Africa.

One key limitation is created by the time it takes to make vaccines available in low-income and emerging markets, a period that can go from 15 to 20 years.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

Merck Millipore is a resource partner of the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network (DCVMN) and provides support to DCVMN's continuing education activities. DCVMN is a voluntary public health driven alliance of vaccine manufacturers (including over 38 manufacturers) working to strengthen vaccine manufacturers through the provision of information and professional training programs, technology improvements, innovative vaccine research and development, encouraging technology transfer initiatives, and educating the public about the availability of safe, effective and affordable vaccines for all people.

Merck contributes to DCVMN's training events through an Educational Grant as part of its responsibility as Training Partner. Merck has hosted technical workshops at several DCVMN regional meetings. The topics of these training events are selected by DCVMN and can be found on their website. A recent example of Merck’s education of professionals in this field was a satellite symposium to a DCVMN annual meeting in Hanoi, hosted in October 2013 on new technologies for vaccine development and supply. Merck’s experts provided an overview on cleaning and process validation with special emphasis on filter validation and integrity testing and implementation of single use technology (including risk assessment approach).

Merck Millipore also provides tools, technologies and services to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. The company is working in close partnerships to deliver innovative products and ensure their success.

Lessons learned

Through this partnership, Merck has learned that continued education of vaccine manufacturers in emerging countries is critical for production of quality vaccine.

Summary of impact and forward looking information

The DSVMN network includes over 39 manufacturers from 15 countries, producing and supplying over 40 different types of vaccines in several presentations and using a variety of technology platforms totaling around 200 products. Thirty-three products developed through this partnership have been prequalified by the World Health Organization.

Partnership information

Company(ies) Merck

Partner(s) Administración Nacional de Laboratorios e Institutos de Salud (ANLIS), Arab Comapny for Pharmaceutical Products (Arabio), Beijing Minhai Biotechnology, Beijing Tiantan Biological Products, Bharat Biotech International, Bio Farma, Biological E Limited (BioE), BioNet-Asia, Biovac Institute, Cadila Pharmaceuticals, Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals (POLYVAC), Changchun BCHT Biotechnology, China National Biotec Group, China National Biotec Group, Chinese National Institute of Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology, EuBiologics, Finlay Institute, Fundação Ataulpho de Paiva, Government Pharmaceutical Organization, Thailand, GreenCross Corporation, Haffkine Bio-Pharmaceutical Corporation, Incepta Vaccine, Indian Immunologicals Limited, Institute of Technology on Immunobiologicals (Bio-Manguinhos), Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals, Instituto Butantan, Laboratorios de Biológicos y Reactivos de México (BIRMEX), LG, Liaoning Cheng Da Biotechnology (CDBIO), Medigen Vaccinology Corporation, National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), Thailand, Panacea Biotec, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, Razi Vaccine & Serum Research Institute, Serum Institute of India, Sinergium Biotech, Sinovac Biotech, SK Chemicals, Thai Government Pharmaceutical Organization, VABIOTECH, VACSERA, Walvax Biotechnology

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals, Generic Manufacturers, Government, Multilaterals, NGOs, Other Business

Therapeutic Focus Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Disease(s) Cholera, Hepatitis, Influenza, Measles, Meningitis C, Mumps, Paratyphoid fever, Pneumonia, Polio, Rabies, Rotavirus, Rubella, Shigella, Typhoid Fever, Yellow Fever

Program Type(s) Availability of Treatment - Technology Transfer - Manufacturing and Entrepreneurial Know-How, Health System Infrastructure - Training, Prevention Programs - Vaccines

Targeted Population(s) General population, People with low income

Region(s) East Asia & Pacific, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East & North Africa, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 13

Country(ies) Argentina, Brazil, China, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam

Start Date 2013

More information DCVMN Website

Anticipated completion date 2015

« Merck Millipore has the drive and commitment to support emerging vaccine manufacturers in developing quality vaccines at affordable prices, building in-country capacity and supporting pandemic preparedness. »

Priyabrata Pattnaik, Director, Worldwide Vaccine Initiative, Process Solutions