Merck, the pharmaceutical giant with significant operations in Montgomery County, has expanded its COVID-19 efforts significantly with three new deals aimed at developing vaccines and therapies for the novel strain of the coronavirus, writes John George for the Philadelphia Business Journal.
Merck has reached an agreement to acquire Themis Bioscience, a vaccine developer based in Austria, established a COVID-19 vaccine collaboration with IAVI, a nonprofit scientific research organization, and also established a partnership to develop COVID-19 therapies with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
According to Dr. Roger M. Perlmutter, president of Merck Research Laboratories, the pharmaceutical company has also been busy evaluating its own “anti-viral assets” for possible ways to fight COVID-19.
After being announced, these three deals helped bump the company’s stock up by 1.5 percent.
The financial terms of Merck’s Themis deal have not been disclosed, and the acquisition still requires regulatory approval.
Themis has a broad pipeline of vaccine candidates, all of which are based on technology developed by scientists at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. Its lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate is currently in pre-clinical development, with clinical studies planned to start later this year.
Read more about Merck at the Philadelphia Business Journal by clicking here.
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