Merck CEO sees human trials for COVID-19 vaccine candidate 'fairly soon'

LONDON, Sept 3- Merck aims to start human trials on one of its COVID-19 vaccine candidates “fairly soon,” with a second vaccine candidate likely to begin trials later this year, Chief Executive Kenneth Frazier said on Thursday. Merck this year bought Austrian vaccine maker Themis Bioscience to gain its vaccine project that relies on a measles vector, and is also…

LONDON, Sept 3 (Reuters) – Merck aims to start human

trials on one of its COVID-19 vaccine candidates “fairly soon,”

with a second vaccine candidate likely to begin trials later

this year, Chief Executive Kenneth Frazier said on Thursday.

Merck this year bought Austrian vaccine maker ThemisBioscience to gain its vaccine project that relies on a measlesvector, and is also collaborating with research nonprofit IAVIon a second vaccine hopeful that uses the same technology asMerck’s Ebola vaccine ERVEBO.

“Both of those are going forward,” Frazier said during avirtual briefing sponsored by drug industry group InternationalFederation of Pharmaceuticals Manufacturers & Association. “Weexpect to be able to start larger-scale human trials in themeasles-virus vaccine fairly soon, and we expect to be able tostart those clinical trials for the (IAVI vaccine) later thisyear.”(Reporting by John MillerEditing by Keith Weir)