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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Sanofi collaborates to develop novel mRNA vaccine candidate against COVID-19

Health Industry Hub | April 1, 2020 |

Sanofi and Translate Bio, 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 vaccine expertise 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.

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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.”

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