Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany acquires Exelead to bolster mRNA offerings

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Exelead (Indianapolis), a biopharma contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO). Not to be confused with the similarly named Merck & Co., the German company will pay roughly $780 million in the acquisition.

Exelead specializes in creating lipid nanoparticle and pegylated formulations. Exelead has fared well during the pandemic. mRNA-based therapies are in high demand, and Pfizer tapped the company to help make its COVID-19 vaccine. (Additionally, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has supplied lipids to bolster Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine production.)

“Novel modalities, particularly mRNA, present a highly attractive business opportunity as pharma and biotech pipelines are increasingly building on them beyond COVID-19,” said Belén Garijo, CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in a press release.

The acquisition of Exelead will allow the…

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Exelead makes first precursor batch of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

Pharma industry contract manufacturer Exelead recently announced that it has delivered its first precursor batch of Prizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, produced at its recently expanded facility in Indianapolis.

Exelead plans to add 50 jobs to help it meet COVID-19 vaccine demand.

“We are extremely proud to be part of the manufacture of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, knowing our work has the potential to help millions of people,” said Exelead CEO John Rigg said in a news release. “As a leader in complex drug manufacturing, Exelead is committed to leveraging our manufacturing capabilities and years of experience to help support the supply of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and increase the number of doses available.”

Kevin Nepveux, VP of Pfizer Global Supply, added that contract manufacturer support is one way the pharmaceutical giant has ramped up manufacturing capabilities to produce more COVID-19 vaccine doses.

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