Merck’s Acquisition Of Themis

McDermott Will & Emery, Herbst Kinsky, represented Themis in the transaction. Austrian law firm Herbst Kinsky also acted for Themis, while Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Brandl & Talos Rechtsanwälte GmbH advised Themis’ shareholders funds. Covington & Burling and Wolf Theiss advised 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, 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 advising Themis was led by Emmanuelle Trombe (Picture) and Nicolas Lafont and comprised Marion Abecassis, Paul Lozniewski, Côme de Saint Vincent (all Paris). David Lipkin (Silicon Valley), Wilko Van Weert (Brussels) and Louise Aberg (Washington) also advised.

Herbst Kinsky advised Themis with Florian Steinhart et Felix Kernbichler.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati advised the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations with Miranda Biven, Robert Ishii, Patrick Sandor.

In Austria, Brandl & Talos Rechtsanwälte GmbH advised the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations with Markus Arzt, Roman Rericha.

Covington & Burling advised Merck with Catherine Dargan, Andrew Fischer, Lucinda Osborne, Michael Riella

In Austria Wolf Theiss advised Merk with Hartwig Kienast and Lukas Slameczka.

Involved fees earner: Markus Arzt – Brandl & Talos; Roman Rericha – Brandl & Talos; Catherine Dargan – Covington & Burling; Andrew Fischer – Covington & Burling; Lucinda Osborne – Covington & Burling; Michael Riella – Covington & Burling; Felix Kernbichler – Herbst Kinsky; Florian Steinhart – Herbst Kinsky; Marion Abecassis – McDermott Will & Emery; Louise Aberg – McDermott Will & Emery; Côme de Saint Vincent – McDermott Will & Emery; Nicolas Lafont – McDermott Will & Emery; David Lipkin – McDermott Will & Emery; Paul Lozniewski – McDermott Will & Emery; Emmanuelle Trombe – McDermott Will & Emery; Wilko van Weert – McDermott Will & Emery; Miranda Biven – Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; Robert Ishii – Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; Patrick Sandor – Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; Hartwig Kienast – Wolf Theiss; Lukas Slameczka – Wolf Theiss;

Law Firms: Brandl & Talos; Covington & Burling; Herbst Kinsky; McDermott Will & Emery; Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; Wolf Theiss;

Clients: Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations; Merck & Co., Inc. ; Themis Bioscience;