Brandl & Talos advises shareholders on the sale of Themis to Merck Sharp Dohme

 • Corporate Law & Transactions from Stephan Strass, Roman Rericha, Markus Arzt

Vienna, May 27, 2020 - With this acquisition, Merck Sharp Dohme (MSD) secures, among others, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Austrian company Themis, which will be combined with an MSD vaccine platform to contribute to the global fight against coronavirus.

Austrian company Themis is a leader in the development of vaccines against immune diseases and was previously owned by several international investors. Yesterday, MSD announced the acquisition of the company. MSD is combining its vaccine platform with a new COVID-19 vaccine developed by Themis and Institut Pasteur (a European vaccine research institute), a transaction that paves the way for a global fight against coronavirus.

Brandl Talos advised the shareholders of Themis on this landmark deal for the Austrian biotech scene; these include Farallon Capital Management, Global Health Investment Fund, Adjuvent Capital, Wellington Partners Life Sciences, Ventech, Omnes-Fonds, Hadean Ventures and aws Gründerfonds. In addition, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (Robert Ishii & Miranda Biven) advised the shareholders on U.S. law issues.

Themis Bioscience GmbH was represented by McDermott Will & Emery France (Emmanuelle Trombe & David Lipkin) and Herbst Kinsky (Florian Steinhart & Felix Kernbichler).

MSD was represented by Covington & Burling (Catherine J. Dargan & Michael J. Riella) and Wolf Theiss (Hartwig Kienast).

Roman Rericha led the Brandl Talos transaction team, which also included Markus Arzt, Stephan Strass and Matea Plavotic.

» This transaction is a shining example of the innovative strength of Austrian biotechnology companies. We have been supporting the scene for years and are pleased that they are also relying on our expertise in this sensational transaction. «
Roman Rericha
The team
Stephan Strass
Partner / Venture Capital & Start Ups, Corporate Law & Transactions, BioTech & Lifescience
Stephan advises innovative start-ups, institutional and strategic investors and other companies on acquisitions, financing rounds, joint ventures and exit transactions with a focus on highly regulated industries such as life sciences, biotech and leisure & entertainment. He further specializes in commercial transactions in the life science and biotech sector, including university spin-offs, strategic collaborations, patent and technology license agreements and IP purchase transactions.

He has co-authored commentaries on the EU Merger Act and the Investment Fund Act, and is the author of many academic publications.

University of Vienna, Faculty of Law (Mag. iur. 2015)
Harvard Law School, Master of Laws (LL.M. 2019)
Roman Rericha
Partner / Fund Formation, Venture Capital & Start Ups, Corporate Law & Transactions
Roman represents clients in complex cross-border M&A and private equity transactions. Austrian and international venture capital funds regularly turn to him for assisting with investments in Austria. His expert advice also guides start-ups through large-scale financing rounds.

University of Vienna, Faculty of Law (Mag. iur. 2005),
Faculty of Business, Economics and Statistics, (Mag. rer.soc.oec. 2007)
Markus Arzt
Attorney at Law / Fund Formation, Capital Markets, Venture Capital & Start Ups, Corporate Law & Transactions
In recent years, Markus has spearheaded various large international transactions and is a respected venture capital and private equity expert.

University of Vienna, Faculty of Law (Mag. iur. 2012)