Merck has struck a deal to work with Themis Bioscience on vaccine R&D. The agreement sees Merck invest in Themis and commit up to $200 million (€180 million) in milestones to secure vaccines against an undisclosed target.
Using research funding from Merck, Themis will develop vaccine candidates against the target using its measles virus vector-based platform. Themis licensed the measles vector from the Pasteur Institute and has since worked to industrialize the production process, giving it a platform it thinks can support an upcoming phase 3 trial of its internal lead asset.
The result is a setup Themis CEO Erich Tauber describes as a “true plug-and-play platform.”