Sanofi partners with Translate Bio to develop mRNA vaccines for infectious diseases

Sanofi's vaccine unit Sanofi Pasteur entered a deal with Translate Bio potentially worth $850 million to develop mRNA vaccines for up to five undisclosed infectious disease pathogens, the latter company announced Monday. John Shiver, senior vice president of R&D at Sanofi Pasteur, said "we believe mRNA technology has significant potential for rapid and versatile manufacturing, reduced industrialisation costs for multiple vaccines, and the improved breadth of immune response for infectious disease vaccines."

Under the agreement, the companies will jointly conduct R&D activities to advance mRNA vaccines during an initial three-year research term. Sanofi Pasteur will make an upfront payment of $45 million to Translate Bio, with the latter eligible to receive up to $805 million in milestone payments across several vaccine targets, as well as tiered royalties linked to global sales of the developed vaccines.

Translate Bio noted that Sanofi Pasteur will pay for all costs during the research term and will receive exclusive worldwide commercialisation rights. As part of the collaboration, Translate Bio will be responsible for clinical manufacture and will be entitled to additional payments under a separate supply agreement to be established.

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