New worldwide, exclusive license agreement provides broad access to Institut Pasteur's virus vector technology – Zika vaccine development progressing with high priority

VIENNA, Austria I July 12, 2016 I Themis successfully extended its existing license agreement with Institut Pasteur, France, which grants the company a broad access to a well-established virus vaccine vector technology. The safety and tolerability profile of the vector was already proven in a Phase I trial when the two partners used the technology platform for the development of a first in class Chikungunya vaccine, which will enter into Phase II later this year. Now the platform will inter alia also be applied for the development of a Zika vaccine, a high priority project within Themis' pipeline.

Today the vaccine development specialist Themis Bioscience GmbH (Vienna, Austria) announced the significant extension of an existing license agreement with the world renowned Institut Pasteur in Paris. Under the terms of the new agreement Themis will have extensive rights to use the well-established vaccine vector technology initially developed by the Institut Pasteur in a variety of highly relevant vaccine indications including Zika. The technology uses a measles virus vaccine backbone, and measles vaccines have already been successfully used in well over a billion individuals over the last 30–40 years, which suggests an excellent safety and immunogenicity profile as well as an efficient production process.

Dr. Isabelle Buckle, Executive Vice President Technology Transfer & Industrial Partnerships at Institut Pasteur comments on the new agreement: "The potential of this vaccine vector is enormous. Themis' competence in the fast and focused development of promising vaccine candidates will now fully exploit this potential for the development of vaccines against multiple indications. As a first step we prioritize and accelerate the development of our prophylactic Zika vaccine candidate under a collaboration with Themis, which will address the worldwide growing concern about the emerging Zika threat."

"We are intending to begin clinical trials within the next twelve months", further explains Dr. Erich Tauber, CEO and founder of Themis, with regard to the current plan for this project, which will not only benefit from the well-proven safety and tolerability of the measles vector but also from the cost-efficient production process allowing for rapid upscaling of the vaccine production.

About Themis (July 2016):

Themis Bioscience GmbH develops prophylactic vaccines from the preclinical to the early clinical phase, focusing on infectious diseases, with initial vaccine candidates currently being developed against Chikungunya and Zika. The company's highly innovative and fully patent-protected virus vaccine vector technology platform, licensed from the internationally respected Institut Pasteur in Paris, forms the basis for the current vaccine candidates of the Vienna-based company.

About the vaccine technology:

The core technology of the measles vector platform has been developed at the Institut Pasteur in Paris and is licensed to Themis. It relies on the use of the standard measles vaccine as a vaccination vector. Genes coding for selected antigens from a foreign infectious agent, like for example a Chikungunya virus, have been inserted into the genome of this well-established vaccine. The measles-vaccine vector delivers the foreign antigens directly to macrophages and dendritic cells – the most potent and effective antigen-presenting cells, thereby triggering a specific immune response to the foreign bug. This results in a powerful, specific immune response, which is most likely to confer long-term immunity as does the measles vaccine.

SOURCE: Themis Bioscience

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