Merck & Co., Inc. and Crucell Sign Cross-licensing Agreement on Vaccine Production Technology
Leiden, the Netherlands, December 27, 2006 - Dutch biotechnology company Crucell N.V. (Euronext, NASDAQ: CRXL; Swiss Exchange: CRX) announced today that it has signed a cross-licensing agreement with Merck & Co., Inc. In addition to previously licensed rights to PER.C6, the agreement opens the way for Merck to use Crucell technology on an exclusive basis in additional undisclosed vaccine fields. In return, Crucell receives access to Merck’s large scale manufacturing technology for its AdVac®-based vaccines.
“This agreement will make it possible to speed up the delivery of our malaria and TB vaccines to the people in need, and makes it realistic to do so on the mass scale required,” said Jaap Goudsmit, Chief Scientific Officer at Crucell. “It also opens the way for Crucell to speed up the Ebola program with the VRC, which has recently entered a phase I clinical trial. But most importantly, it brings the reality of vaccines such as these significantly closer.”
Crucell’s malaria vaccine program is supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). The TB vaccine program is a collaboration with the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation. Both programs are based on Crucell’s adenovirus vector technology, AdVac®, and are currently in Phase 1 clinical trials.
Crucell N.V. (Euronext, NASDAQ: CRXL; Swiss Exchange: CRX) is a biotechnology company focused on research, development and worldwide marketing of vaccines and antibodies that prevent and treat infectious diseases. Its vaccines are sold in public and private markets worldwide. Crucell’s core portfolio includes a vaccine against hepatitis B, a fully-liquid vaccine against five important childhood diseases, and a virosome-adjuvanted vaccine against influenza. Crucell also markets travel vaccines, such as the only oral anti-typhoid vaccine, an oral cholera vaccine and the only aluminum-free hepatitis A vaccine on the market. The Company has a broad development pipeline, with several Crucell products based on its unique PER.C6® production technology. The Company licenses this and other technologies to the biopharmaceutical industry. Important partners and licensees include DSM Biologics, sanofi aventis, GSK and Merck & Co. Crucell is headquartered in Leiden (the Netherlands), with subsidiaries in Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Korea and the US. The Company employs over a 1000 people. For more information, please visit www.crucell.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve inherent risks and uncertainties. We have identified certain important factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in such forward-looking statements. For information relating to these factors please refer to our Form 20-F, as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on July 6, 2006, and the section entitled “Risk Factors”. The Company prepares its financial statements under generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (US GAAP) and Europe (IFRS).
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- Leonard Kruimer
- Chief Financial Officer
- Crucell N.V.
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