Merck & Co. Completes Acquisition of Themis Bioscience

Merck & Co. has completed its previously announced acquisition of Themis Bioscience, a Vienna, Austria-based biopharmaceutical company developing vaccines and immune-modulation therapies for infectious diseases and cancer.

With the completion of the deal, Themis is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck & Co.

An initial focus stemming from the acquisition is the development of a measles vector-based vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This vaccine candidate is currently in preclinical development, and clinical studies are planned to start later in 2020 (as reported on June 19, 2020).

Earlier this year (March 2020), Themis joined a consortium together with the Institut Pasteur, a French research institute, and The Center for Vaccine Research at the University of Pittsburgh, supported by funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a public–private partnership focused on accelerating vaccine development, to develop a vaccine candidate targeting SARS-CoV-2.

Source: Merck & Co.

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