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 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.
Vaccines work by mimicking disease agents to stimulate the immune system; building up a defense mechanism that can be deployed to fight future infections. mRNA vaccines offer an innovative approach by delivering the nucleotide sequence encoding any protein associated with prevention or treatment of a pathogen. Because of their high potency, capacity for rapid development and potential for low-cost manufacture and safe administration, mRNA vaccines represent a potentially innovative alternative to conventional vaccine approaches. A desired protein can be expressed from mRNA without the need to adjust the production process offering maximum flexibility in development, potentially enabling the development of vaccines for disease areas where vaccination is not a viable option today.
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. The company’s MRT platform is designed to develop product candidates that deliver mRNA carrying instructions to produce intracellular, transmembrane and secreted proteins for therapeutic benefit. Translate Bio believes that its MRT platform is applicable to a broad range of diseases caused by insufficient protein production or where production of proteins can modify disease, including diseases that affect the lung, liver, eye, central nervous system, lymphatic system and circulatory system. The platform may be applied to produce therapeutic antibodies and vaccines in areas such as infectious disease and oncology. The Company’s two lead programs are being developed as treatments for cystic fibrosis (CF) and ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency.