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Coronavirus

Merck Halts Development of its Two Coronavirus Vaccine Candidates

Merck is halting the development of its two COVID-19 vaccine candidates, saying that while the drugs seemed to be safe, they didn’t generate enough of an immune response to effectively protect people against the coronavirus.

Results of Phase 1 clinical studies showed that the two vaccine candidates — known as V590 and V591 — “were generally well-tolerated, but the immune responses were inferior to those seen following natural infection and those reported for other SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 vaccines,” Merck said in a statement about its decision.

Merck is one of dozens of drugmakers worldwide that have put COVID-19 vaccine candidates into clinical trials in the worldwide race to produce a vaccine. Others include Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech — both of which now have U.S.-approved vaccines — along with AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Novavax, and Sanofi.

Read the source article at npr.org

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