Clinical-stage mRNA therapeutics firm Translate Bio has announced a three-year collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur – the vaccine unit of Sanofi – to develop up to five undisclosed infectious disease pathogens.
Messenger RNA (mRNA) medicine works by instructing ribosomes inside cells to produce a desired therapeutic protein when injected into a platform. mRNA vaccines are designed to deliver the nucleotide sequence, encoding any protein associated with prevention or treatment of a pathogen.
According to the agreement terms, Sanofi Pasteur will fund all research and development activities – conducted jointly with Translate Bio – and pay the biotech an upfront fee of $45m (€38m) and up to $805m in tiered royalty payments.
In return, Sanofi Pasteur will receive exclusive worldwide commercialisation rights for the developed vaccines.
The firms will develop the vaccines using the MRT platform, which Translate Bio – formerly RaNA Therapeutics – acquired from Shire plc in January last year.
“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,” said Sanofi Pasteur’s John Shiver in a statement.