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News Release

September 3, 2020
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Melisa.sandrianti@merckgroup.com
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Merck Supports Eijkman Institute to Expedite Covid-19 Vaccine Development Research

  • Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology developing Covid-19 vaccine based on local strain virus strain
  • Institute to receive research instruments and materials to advance production

Jakarta, Indonesia, September 3, 2020 — Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced the donation of research instruments and materials worth IDR 1.2 billion (€ 74,000) to support the efforts of Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, Indonesia, in its efforts to accelerate vaccine development research. The institute is developing a Covid-19 vaccine based on a local virus strain, in collaboration with several local research institutions.

“Merck supplies critical products and services and provides solutions for scientists to identify and characterize viruses and develop vaccines and therapies – work that is especially important as vaccine developers race to fight Covid-19,” said Christopher Thomas, president director at Merck in Indonesia. “Eijkman Institute’s work is promising and we are committed to supporting them.”

Merck is donating reagents and consumables to make viral transport medium, which are tubes that store patients’ swab test samples, allowing them to be safely transported from swab sampling locations (i.e., clinics, hospitals, health centers) to testing labs. The company is also donating RiOs™ Essential water purification systems, which produce high-quality type-3 pure water by integrating pre-treatment and high-performance reverse osmosis membranes.

"The utmost priority in combating Covid-19 is accelerating the discovery of Covid-19 vaccine to protect people and breaking the chain of infection in Indonesia,” said Professor Amin Soebandrio, chairman of Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology. “Prevention is certainly better than cure. Global partners and qualified state-of-the-art research instruments will greatly help in expediting this vaccine research. We are grateful for Merck’s support in donating instruments and materials to help us in developing Indonesia’s Covid-19 vaccine."

Eijkman Institute’s research has progressed to the generation of sub-unit protein as the chosen platform. In general, vaccine manufacturing can take years to finish, but the institute is racing to generate the vaccine seed in only a year. It is estimated that the vaccine will be made available for further processes including clinical trials in Indonesia by early 2021.

About Merck

Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 57,000 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 2019, Merck generated sales of €16.2 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 Performance Materials.

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