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.