Former Merck Unit Works on First Vaccine for Hepatitis C

Merck & Co. (MRK)

Okairos AG, a biotechnology business that sold to venture capital funds in 2007, is seeking to produce the first preventive vaccine for hepatitis C, challenging makers of treatments for the disease.

Okairos has begun a mid-stage study, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, of a gene-based vaccine designed to stimulate the body’s immune system to prevent hepatitis C from taking hold, Chief Operating Officer Tom Woiwode said in a phone interview from the company’s Basel, Switzerland, headquarters.

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Source: Bloomberg