In connection with the acquisition, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission granted early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, while Merck gained merger control from the Austrian Federal Competition Authority, making Themis now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Merck.
Merck and Themis are set to accelerate and develop a measles vector-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine as an early focus of the acquisition. The candidate is currently in pre-clinical development with clinical studies planned to begin later this year, according to a news release.
Last month, Merck announced today that they are collaborating with IAVI to develop an investigational vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 for preventing COVID-19.
Just days after that announcement, Merck announced that it exercised its option to use Vaxxas‘ High Density Microarray Patch (HD-MAP) platform as a delivery platform for a vaccine candidate.