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Merck Research Laboratories Facilities Designated as “Milestones in Microbiology” Sites by the American Society for Microbiology

KENILWORTH, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced today that Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) facilities in Rahway, N.J., and West Point, Pa., have been designated as “Milestones in Microbiology” sites by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) for their contributions to anti-infectives and vaccines, respectively. This is the first time a biopharmaceutical company has received this recognition. The ASM Milestones in Microbiology program recognizes institutions and scientists that have made significant contributions toward advancing the science of microbiology.

“Merck is honored to be the first biopharmaceutical company to receive this recognition from the American Society for Microbiology as we celebrate our 125th anniversary,” said Dr. Roger M. Perlmutter, president, Merck Research Laboratories. “We are proud of our legacy of antimicrobial research and remain steadfast in our commitment to treating and preventing infectious diseases.”

The MRL facilities were designated as ASM Milestones in Microbiology sites in recognition of the company’s research and development efforts including:

  • Advancing a method of deep tank fermentation, in collaboration with other pharmaceutical companies and government agencies, which paved the way for the mass production of penicillin.
  • Working with Selman Waksman (Rutgers University, N.J.) to secure one of the earliest formal collaborations between private industry and academia. This collaboration led to the demonstration that streptomycin was effective for the treatment of tuberculosis.
  • Establishing a natural product screening program that enabled Merck researchers to develop several new antibiotic medicines by culturing and screening organisms sampled from sites all over the world.
  • Developing a treatment for river blindness (onchocerciasis) for which Merck scientist William Campbell shared the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
  • Developing a portfolio of vaccines for the prevention of several viral and bacterial infections; research led by the pioneering vaccinologist Dr. Maurice Hilleman.

“The Milestones in Microbiology program includes prominent sites that fundamentally impact the microbial sciences. From the perspective of the ASM, Merck Research Laboratories has met and exceeded all the criteria required for recognition as a Milestones site. We are especially pleased to recognize it as the first industrial Milestones site,” said Susan Sharp, president of the American Society for Microbiology. For more information about ASM’s Milestones in Microbiology program and a list of previously-designated sites, visit

Merck’s Commitment to Infectious Diseases

For more than 80 years, Merck has contributed to the discovery and development of novel medicines and vaccines to combat infectious diseases. Merck currently has 10 candidates in Phase 2/Phase 3 clinical trials for the potential treatment or prevention of infectious diseases.

About Merck

For 125 years, Merck has been a global health care leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA

This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. There can be no guarantees with respect to pipeline products that the products will receive the necessary regulatory approvals or that they will prove to be commercially successful. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company’s 2015 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (

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