Pneumococcal disease is a bacterial infection that causes pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis and other life-threatening ailments. In 2005, WHO estimated that 1.6 million deaths were caused by this agent annually; this estimate included the deaths of 0.7–1 million children aged under 5 years. Merck and the Serum Institute are collaborating to oversee the activities required to develop and seek approval for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) and pursue the World Health Organization (WHO) prequalification. Under the terms of the agreement, MSD, through an affiliate, will receive specific rights to market PCV in certain designated territories and Serum will receive specific rights in other territories. Both companies will contribute to the development and manufacture of PCV. Working side by side with Serum gives MSD the best chance of developing and bringing a product to the market that will help to protect more babies and children.