Sanofi, Translate Bio to jointly develop mRNA vaccine for COVID-19

Sanofi entered into a collaboration with Translate Bio to develop an mRNA vaccine for COVID-19, building on an existing agreement signed in 2018, the companies announced Friday. The parties will use Translate Bio's mRNA platform to discover, design and manufacture a number of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates, with Sanofi advancing them for further development.

"We are committed to leveraging different ways to address the COVID-19 public health crisis by testing treatments, as well as two vaccines using different platforms. We believe the more approaches we explore, the better our likelihood of success in achieving this goal," remarked David Loew, global head of vaccines at Sanofi.

In February, Sanofi entered into a collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to advance a recombinant, protein-based vaccine candidate against COVID-19.

"Having sufficient installed capacity will be key to satisfy the strong demand for vaccines we will probably see, and based on the experience we've had under the collaboration to date, we believe the Translate Bio mRNA platform could help us meet that need," Loew added. Translate Bio said it has established 100-gram, single-batch production with its clinical-stage mRNA therapeutics platform, but that it is constructing a dedicated manufacturing space to accommodate at least two 250-gram batches per month.

The earlier partnership between Sanofi and Translate Bio is focused on developing mRNA vaccines for up to five infectious disease pathogens. The companies say they have so far advanced the preclinical development vaccine programmes, including screening, optimisation and production of mRNA and lipid nanoparticle formulations, across multiple targets.

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