Translate Bio, a clinical-stage messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics company developing a new class of potentially transformative medicines to treat diseases caused by protein or gene dysfunction, announced today a multi-year research and development collaboration and exclusive licensing agreement with Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines global business unit of Sanofi, to develop mRNA vaccines for up to five undisclosed infectious disease pathogens.
Under the agreement, Translate Bio and Sanofi Pasteur will jointly conduct research and development 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. In total, Translate Bio is eligible to receive up to $805 million in payments, which also includes certain development, regulatory and sales-related milestones across several vaccine targets, and option exercise fees if Sanofi Pasteur exercises its option related to development of vaccines for additional pathogens. In addition, Translate Bio is also eligible to receive tiered royalty payments associated with worldwide sales of the developed vaccines. Sanofi Pasteur will pay for all costs during the research term and will receive exclusive worldwide commercialization rights. Translate Bio will be responsible for clinical manufacture and will be entitled to additional payments under a separate supply agreement to be established.
"Sanofi Pasteur is pursuing a variety of emerging technologies that will allow us to continue to lead in research and development of next-generation vaccines," said John Shiver, Senior Vice President, R&D, Sanofi Pasteur. "We believe mRNA technology has significant potential for rapid and versatile manufacturing, reduced industrialization costs for multiple vaccines, and the improved breadth of immune response for infectious disease vaccines. The Translate Bio platform may allow us to further address medical needs worldwide, including those not readily accessible using conventional vaccine strategies."
"Sanofi Pasteur is at the forefront of vaccine research and development which makes them an ideal partner as we expand upon our promising early efforts in vaccines," said Ronald Renaud, Chief Executive Officer, Translate Bio. "We believe that this partnership validates the potential of our mRNA platform, and also enables us to apply our mRNA technology beyond the current therapeutic applications that we are pursuing in cystic fibrosis (CF) and ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency, ultimately advancing our goal of delivering innovative medicines to patients."
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the expiration of the applicable waiting period under the Hart Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 in the United States.