McDermott International Healthcare Team Advises Vaccine Pioneers Themis on Landmark Sale to Merck


The American pharmaceutical company Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and Themis, an Austrian company focused on vaccines and immune-modulation therapies for infectious diseases and cancer, announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Merck, through a subsidiary, will acquire privately-held Themis.

The planned acquisition builds upon an ongoing collaboration between the two companies to develop vaccine candidates using the measles virus vector platform, and is expected to accelerate the development of Themis’ COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The vaccine candidate is in pre-clinical development, and clinical studies are planned to start later in 2020.

Under terms of the agreement, Merck, through a subsidiary, will acquire all outstanding shares of Themis in exchange for an undisclosed cash payment. Upon completion of the deal Themis will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Merck.

McDermott’s international team was led by Emmanuelle Trombe and Nicolas Lafont and comprised of Anne-France Moreau, Marion Abecassis, Paul Lozniewski, Côme de Saint Vincent (all Paris). David Lipkin (Silicon Valley), Wilko Van Weert (Brussels) and Louise Aberg (Washington) also advised.

Austrian law firm Herbst Kinsky acted for Themis. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Brandl & Talos Rechtsanwälte GmbH advised Themis’ shareholders funds.

Covington & Burling advised Merck.

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