Sanofi and Translate Bio Collaborate to Develop Novel mRNA Vaccine Candidate Against COVID-19
PARIS and LEXINGTON, MASS. - March 27, 2020 -- Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines global business unit of Sanofi, and Translate Bio (NASDAQ: TBIO), a clinical-stage messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics company, will collaborate to develop a novel mRNA vaccine for COVID-19. This collaboration leverages an existing agreement from 2018 between the two companies to develop mRNA vaccines for infectious diseases.
Translate Bio has begun to produce multiple mRNA constructs and will use its mRNA platform to discover, design, and manufacture a number of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates. Sanofi will provide deep vaccine expertise and support from its external research networks to advance vaccine candidates for potential further development. Translate Bio has established 100 gram single-batch production with its clinical-stage mRNA therapeutics platform. Build-out is underway of dedicated manufacturing space through a contract manufacturing partner to accommodate at least two 250-gram batches per month. Depending on the final human dose, the mRNA platform of Translate Bio has excellent promise to meet the future demands for a pandemic response.
For Sanofi, this marks a second collaboration in its efforts to develop a novel COVID-19 vaccine candidate. In February 2020, Sanofi announced a collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to advance a novel COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The agreement with BARDA calls for Sanofi to initiate development of a recombinant, protein-based vaccine candidate against COVID-19.
“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,” said David Loew, Global Head of Vaccines at Sanofi. “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.”
“The Translate Bio and Sanofi Pasteur teams have generated encouraging preclinical data across multiple infectious disease targets, as part of our ongoing mRNA vaccine collaboration. This work will serve as a strong foundation as we direct joint research efforts against COVID-19 to help address this public health threat,” said Ronald Renaud, Chief Executive Officer of Translate Bio. “Our collaborative efforts to combat COVID-19 will leverage Translate Bio’s innovative mRNA platform as well as Sanofi’s vaccine expertise and ongoing COVID-19 research with the goal of advancing a novel mRNA vaccine rapidly to the clinic.”
About mRNA Vaccines
Vaccines work by mimicking disease agents to stimulate the immune system; building up a defense mechanism that remains active in the body to fight future infections. mRNA vaccines offer an innovative approach by delivering a nucleotide sequence encoding the antigen or antigens selected for their high potential to induce a protective immune response. mRNA vaccines also represent a potentially innovative alternative to conventional vaccine approaches for several reasons - their high potency, ability to initiate protein production without the need for nuclear entry, capacity for rapid development and potential for low-cost manufacture and safe administration using non-viral delivery. This approach potentially enables the development of vaccines for disease areas where vaccination is not a viable option today. Additionally, a desired antigen or multiple antigens can be expressed from mRNA without the need to adjust the production process offering maximum flexibility and efficiency in development.
About the Sanofi Pasteur/Translate Bio Collaboration
In 2018, Translate Bio entered into a collaboration and exclusive licensing agreement with Sanofi Pasteur Inc., the vaccines global business unit of Sanofi, to develop mRNA vaccines for up to five infectious disease pathogens. This collaboration brings together Sanofi Pasteur’s leadership in vaccines and Translate Bio’s mRNA research and development expertise. Under the agreement, the companies are jointly conducting research and development activities to advance mRNA vaccines and mRNA vaccine platform development during a three-year research term. Translate Bio and Sanofi Pasteur have advanced the preclinical development vaccine programs including screening, optimization and production of mRNA and LNP formulations across multiple targets.
About Translate Bio
Translate Bio is a clinical-stage mRNA therapeutics company developing a new class of potentially transformative medicines to treat diseases caused by protein or gene dysfunction. Translate Bio is primarily focused on applying its technology to treat pulmonary diseases caused by insufficient protein production or where the reduction of proteins can modify disease. Translate Bio’s lead program is being developed as a treatment for cystic fibrosis (CF) and is in an ongoing Phase 1/2 clinical trial. The Company also believes its technology is applicable to a broad range of diseases, including diseases that affect the liver. Additionally, the platform may be applied to various classes of treatments, such as therapeutic antibodies or vaccines in areas such as infectious disease and oncology. For more information about the Company, please visit www.translate.bio or on Twitter at @TranslateBio.
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