Merck completes Themis acquisition to develop COVID-19 vaccine

Kenilworth-based Merck announced Thursday it has completed the acquisition of Themis to help develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

Themis, an Austria-based global firm focused on vaccines and immune-modulation therapies for infectious diseases and cancer, will now become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Merck.

The deal will help accelerate the development of a measles vector-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate, Merck said. The candidate is currently in pre-clinical development with clinical studies to begin later this year.

In March, Themis joined a consortium with the Institut Pasteur and The Center for Vaccine Research at the University of Pittsburg, supported by funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, to develop the vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

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