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Sanofi, Translate Bio Expand Collaboration To Develop MRNA Vaccines For Infectious Diseases

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines global business unit of Sanofi (SNYNF,SNY), and Translate Bio (TBIO) have agreed to expand their existing 2018 collaboration and license agreement to develop messenger RNA or mRNA vaccines for infectious diseases.

As per the expansion agreement, Translate Bio will receive a total upfront payment of $425 million, It consists of a $300 million cash payment and a private placement common stock investment of $125 million at $25.59 per share representing a 50 percent premium to the 20-day moving average share price prior to signing.

Sanofi said that Translate Bio will also be eligible for potential future milestones and other payments up to $1.9 billion, including $450 million of milestones under the 2018 agreement.

Of these potential milestones and other payments, about $360 million are anticipated over the next several years, inclusive of COVID-19 vaccine development milestones.

In addition, Translate Bio is also eligible to receive tiered royalty payments based upon worldwide sales of the developed vaccines. Sanofi Pasteur will pay for all costs during the collaboration term.

As per the deal, Sanofi Pasteur will receive exclusive worldwide rights for infectious disease vaccines.

As per the collaboration, Translate Bio is using its mRNA platform to discover, design and manufacture vaccine candidates and Sanofi Pasteur is providing its deep vaccine expertise to advance vaccine candidates into and through further development. Translate Bio will also transfer technology and processes to allow Sanofi Pasteur to develop and manufacture mRNA vaccines for infectious diseases.

The companies are currently evaluating multiple COVID-19 vaccine candidates in vivo for immunogenicity and neutralizing antibody activity to support lead candidate selection and the companies have the goal of initiating a first-in-human clinical trial in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The companies are also advancing an mRNA vaccine development candidate against influenza through preclinical studies with clinical trial initiation anticipated in mid-year 2021.

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