New Jersey’s Merck to buy Austrian biotech firm Themis in race to pandemic vaccine



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New Jersey’s Merck to buy Austrian biotech firm Themis in race to pandemic vaccine

Merck & Co. Inc., the Kenilworth, New Jersey-based American multinational pharmaceutical company, which had been keeping itself celibate thus far from the race towards creating a potential vaccine for the flu-like pandemic outbreak that could unveil a severely pneumonic trait in less than one percent patients, said in a statement on Tuesday that the New Jersey-based one of the largest pharmaceuticals in the world was going to purchase the Austrian vaccine manufacturer Themis Bioscience.

Besides, Merck had also added in its statement that the American multinational pharmaceutical would collaborate its research with the New York-based non-profit organization IAVI (International AIDS Vaccine Initiative) in order to develop two separate vaccines for the pandemic outbreak, while a human trial could begin as early as in the second half of the year.

Apart from that, Merck & Co. Inc., which had reported a revenue of $42.29 billion in 2018 and raised its full-year revenue forecast for the fiscal year 2019 between $45.2 billion to $46.5 billion, had also made an announcement saying that the American pharmaceutical had launched a partnership with a privately-held, majority woman-owned biotech firm Ridgeback Biotherapeutics primarily focused on infectious diseases in order to develop an oral antiviral drug to contain the pandemic outbreak.

However, Merck had yet to disclose the financial terms of its Themis Bioscience buyout deal.

Merck to develop two vaccines after Austrian Themis purchase

Meanwhile, addressing that the company would develop two separate vaccines following Themis purchase, while the Themis vaccine was based on a recombination of measles virus and a bit of coronavirus DNA that was expected to develop antibodies against the pandemic and the IAVI vaccine was created by using the same technology as Merck’s Ebola virus vaccine, Merck Chief Executive Ken Frazier said in an interview with a press agency, “We wanted to be in a position where we could choose things that have the right kind of characteristics to make a contribution for a virus that’s likely to be with us for some time.