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03/08/2011 22:00PM Australia/Sydney
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. & PUNE, India (BUSINESS WIRE)

Merck and Serum Institute Announce Collaboration to Develop and Expand Global Access to Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV)

Merck (NYSE: MRK), known outside the United States and Canada as MSD, and Serum Institute of India Limited, an Indian company, announced today an agreement to work together to develop and commercialize a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) for use in the emerging and developing world countries. It is estimated that one out of every two children immunized in the world is vaccinated by a vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute. In addition, Merck has developed more than one-third of the world's vaccines for children, adolescents and adults.

"Serum Institute is committed to improving access to and affordability of vaccines for children throughout the world," said Cyrus Poonawalla, CMD, Chairman, Serum Institute, "In working closely with Merck in the development of this collaboration it became clear that we share parallel public health goals and that our passion for getting vaccines to everyone who needs them is made even stronger by working together."

Pneumococcal disease is a bacterial infection that causes pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis and other life-threatening ailments. Current estimates show that at least one million children die of pneumococcal disease every year, including mostly young children in developing countries.

"Working side by side with Serum gives us the best chance of developing and bringing a product to the market that will help to protect more babies and children," said Julie L. Gerberding, president, Merck Vaccines. "Expanding vaccine access to emerging and developing markets is a top priority and we feel strongly that this collaboration will be a giant step toward impacting the devastation of pneumococcal disease."

Together, Merck and Serum will form a Product Advisory Committee to oversee the activities required to develop and seek approval for PCV and pursue World Health Organization (WHO) prequalification. Under the terms of the agreement, Merck, through an affiliate, will receive specific rights to market PCV in certain designated territories and Serum will receive specific rights in other territories. Both companies will contribute to the development and manufacture of PCV. Specific financial details of this agreement are confidential. This collaboration does not impact the on-going vaccine development programs in both the organizations.

About Merck

Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com.

About Serum Institute

Serum Institute of India based in Pune/India today is the largest manufacturer of DTP and MMR Group of Vaccines and supplying its products to U.N. Agencies as also to more than 140 countries. The recent launch of MenAfriVacTM which was especially developed for Sub-Saharan Africa has been acknowledged by one and all related to the vaccine community. It is a policy and commitment of Serum Institute of India to make the new vaccines available at affordable prices to the children of developing world. For more information, visit www.seruminstitute.com.

Merck Forward-Looking Statement

This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements may include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the merger between Merck and Schering-Plough, including future financial and operating results, the combined company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical facts. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the possibility that the expected synergies from the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; disruption from the merger making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships, Merck’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck’s patents and other protections for innovative products; the risk of new and changing regulation and health policies in the United States and internationally and the exposure to litigation and/or regulatory actions.

Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Merck’s 2010 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (www.sec.gov).

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Contacts

Merck:
Media:
Ian McConnell, +1 908-423-3046
Investors:
Alex Kelly, +1 908-423-5185
or
Serum Institute
Media:
Mr. Rajesh Chaturvedi, +91 22 2204 9804
Fax: +91 22 2204 9814
Mob: +91 98200 69038 / +91 99200 69037
rajesh@adfactorspr.com

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