Intercell says that it has completed the acquisition of fellow Austrian vaccines Pelias Biomedical Development, having issued around 350,000 new shares, about 0.9% of its current stock capital, to secure the deal.

The attraction of getting hold of Pelias, which will remain a separate legal entity operating as a subsidiary, is its development of products against pathogens involved in hospital-acquired infections. In particular, it has a clinical stage Pseudomonas bacteria vaccine candidate in its pipeline and the firms noted that hospital-acquired infections, which are “one of the major causes of death and serious illness worldwide… result in an annual burden of $20 billion in the developed world.”

This is the area that Intercell also specialises in, and in the field of Staphylococcus aureus, the company says that it has a “strong strategic alliance” with Merck & Co which has resulted in a vaccine recently entering Phase I trials. The Vienna-based firm also has deals in place with a number of big pharma companies including Novartis, Wyeth, Sanofi Pasteur and Japan’s Kirin.