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Biotech teams up with Merck on vaccine research

Vaxxas, an Australian biotechnology start-up, has won backing from US pharmaceutical company Merck, the government said on 9 October.

The deal involves the needle-free ‘Nanopatch’, developed by Mark Kendall, a biomedical engineer at the University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology.

The patch is coated with dry vaccine, for which no refrigeration is needed.

Merck will pay an upfront fee and provide funding to Vaxxas to evaluate the potential for using Vaxxas’ Nanopatch platform for a Merck vaccine candidate. The agreement also stipulates that Vaxxas will receive milestone payments.