As per reports, Opko Health Inc. (OPK) has signed a deal with Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) for its experimaental Epstein-Barr virus vaccine. Merck will take over the clinical and regulatory activities related to the vaccine, as well as its commercialization once Opko’s unit ModeX Therapeutics files a joint application to test it in humans. The deal could potentially be worth up to $922.5 million, with an upfront payment of $50 million to Opko and milestone payments of up to $872.5 million, in addition to royalties on global sales.
The Epstein-Barr virus, which is responsible for causing mononucleosis or “kissing disease,” currently has no vaccine available.
Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) is a global healthcare solutions provider that has been working towards bringing forward medicine and vaccines for some of the world’s most challenging diseases for more than a century. They are committed to increasing healthcare access and continue to be at the leading edge of research. Merck has the industry’s largest immuno-oncology clinical research program. To learn more about Merck (MRK) and to track its ongoing progress please visit the Vista Partners Merck Coverage Page.
If you liked this story please consider, visiting the Atossa Therapeutics (ATOS) dedicated page at Vista Partners to learn about the Seattle-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative medicines in areas of significant unmet medical need in oncology with a current focus on breast cancer and lung injury caused by cancer treatments.
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DID YOU KNOW?….
The multi-billion-dollar global fertility market is predicted to reach approximately US$47.9 billion by 2030, yet remains severely underserved with many patients (upwards of 90% by many estimates) unable to access affordable treatment. INVO Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ: INVO) offers the INVOcell solution which provides an advanced, effective and affordable infertility treatment to help increase access to care. INVO is commercially advancing INVOcell through the opening of INVO Centers, opportunistically now pursuing acquisitions of established fertility (IVF) clinics in the U.S., and continuing to offer the technology to existing fertility practices.
On Jan. 16, BioSpectrum published an article titled “INVO Bioscience introduces next-gen technologies to fertility market in Taiwan.”
On Jan. 5, INVO Bioscience announced it has entered an exclusive distribution agreement with Ming Mei Technology Co. Ltd (“Ming Mei”) for Taiwan. The agreement will have an initial 1-year term with renewals. Ming Mei is a leading distributor of fertility-based devices and components in Taiwan helping to bring the latest and most advanced medical equipment into the region. Ming Mei estimates it has approximately 90% coverage of reagents and consumables in the reproductive medicine market in Taiwan. With strong customer relationships in the region, and their familiarity with the field of reproductive medicine, Ming Mei is ideally suited to expand distribution of INVOcell in Taiwan. Taiwan is a destination for assisted reproductive technology (ART) throughout Asia and also has the lowest birthrate in the world. Taiwan’s birth rate has dropped as a result of similar trends elsewhere in Asia, such as later marriage and increasing cost of living. Further, the average age of patients requiring therapy is rising. Fortunately, according to the statistics published by “ICMART”, the overall implantation rate of therapy in Taiwan ranked second worldwide, almost equal to the level in the U.S., and a leading country in Asia. The stable high success rate derives from updated medical research and enriched clinical experience from the physicians, advanced laboratory facilities and technology as well as patient-centered customized treatment plans (depending on their age, ovarian functions and causes of infertility, etc.). Prior to the pandemic, in 2019 there were approximately 55,000 ART cases in Taiwan, an increase of approximately 55% compared to 2016. In July 2021, the government in Taiwan implemented a subsidy plan for ART with the goal of encouraging more local married couples to undergo ART treatments. The subsidies are also available to transnational couples in which one spouse holds a Taiwanese ID card.
On Jan. 3, INVO announced it has signed an agreement with Shelly W. Holmström, M.D. FACOG, to serve as the physician operator for the Company’s soon to be opened Tampa, Florida INVO Center.
Dr. Holmström is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and a Nationally recognized leader in her field with over 20 years’ experience. Prior to joining INVO, Dr. Holmstrom was a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of South Florida (USF) Morsani College of Medicine in Tampa, Florida where she had a full-time academic practice at USF Physicians Group for the last 18 years. Prior to joining USF, she earned her medical degree at the University of Florida and was a Chief Resident and Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Mercer University School of Medicine in Savannah, GA. In addition to her work in academia, she has made numerous International, National and Regional poster presentations discussing a wide range of topics and has been the author or co-author of more than a dozen peer reviewed publications. Dr. Holmström has advanced physician training, patient experience and healthcare access. She is the District XII Immediate-Past Chair at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
READ our recently published story that is gaining traction titled “INVO Bioscience (NASDAQ: $INVO), A Company Seeking To Address A Massively Underserved Fertility Market” to learn more.
On Nov. 30, INVO announced the birth of the first baby in Malaysia utilizing the INVOcell solution. The healthy baby boy weighed 3.53 kg and was born on November 11, 2022 at Tuanku Mizan Military Hospital in Kuala Lumpur. Physicians at Advanced Reproductive Centre (ARC), at Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz (HCTM), at the National University of Malaysia conducted the IVC procedure. The patient was part of a prospective peer reviewed study of INVOcell compared to conventional IVF (“cIVF”) that took place at ARC at HCTM. The study, titled “Comparison of Treatment Outcomes among Sibling Oocytes Using Different Culture Systems—Conventional IVF versus INVOcell Device—And Evaluation of INVOcell User Satisfaction: The INVOcIVF Study,” was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. “We couldn’t be more pleased to have been a part of this family’s journey towards parenthood,” commented Steve Shum, CEO of INVO Bioscience. “The INVOcell solution is playing a key role in providing families across the world an alternative method to parenthood by leveraging its innovative medical device to allow fertilization and early embryo development to take place in vivo within the woman’s body; an approach that provides for affordable, high-quality, patient-centered fertility care.” Key findings of the study included:
- The fertilization rate and good embryo quality were comparable (not significantly different) between INVOcell and cIVF.
- Although both methods produce similar fertilization rates and good-quality embryos, the blastulation rates were better in the INVOcell group.
- INVOcell can be used as an alternative method for reproductive treatment in carefully selected patients without jeopardizing outcomes.
- cIVF is costly and not applicable in most rural and district areas, therefore, the INVOcell can be utilized as a cost-effective alternative to cIVF without sacrificing comfort and outcomes.