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Sanofi to buy mRNA tech partner, Translate Bio, for $3.2bn

Deal will accelerate use of “transformative” mRNA technology in vaccines and other therapies

Sanofi reception

Paris-based Sanofi has agreed to acquire all outstanding shares in clinical-stage messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics company, Translate Bio, for $38.00 per share in cash.

The two companies have been working together since June 2018, when they entered into a collaboration and exclusive licence agreement to develop mRNA vaccines. The relationship was expanded in 2020 to address current and future infectious diseases.

“Translate Bio adds an mRNA technology platform and strong capabilities to our research, further advancing our ability to explore the promise of this technology to develop both best-in-class vaccines and therapeutics,” said Sanofi CEO, Paul Hudson. “Our goal is to unlock the potential of mRNA in other strategic areas such as immunology, oncology and rare diseases in addition to vaccines.”

For Translate Bio CEO, Ronald Renaud, Sanofi’s experience in developing and commercialising vaccines on a global scale is a crucial element of the deal. “Our expertise coupled with that of Sanofi has driven significant progress under the collaboration thus far, and we believe that this acquisition will strengthen the team’s ability to achieve the full potential of the mRNA technology,” he said.

Massachusetts-based Translate Bio has an early-stage pipeline in cystic fibrosis and other rare lung diseases while its discovery focus is on diseases that affect the liver. Its MRTTM platform can also be applied to various treatment classes including therapeutic antibodies and vaccines in areas such as oncology.

The acquisition of Translate Bio will supercharge plans for Sanofi’s recently announced mRNA Centre of Excellence.

Sanofi and Translate Bio are currently running two mRNA vaccine clinical trials: a COVID-19 vaccine phase 1/2 study with results expected in Q3 2021 and a mRNA seasonal influenza vaccine phase 1 trial with results due in Q4 2021.

The deal has been approved by both the Sanofi and Translate Bio boards of directors and the Baupost Group, a Boston-based hedge fund that is Translate Bio’s largest shareholder, has signed a binding commitment to support the tender offer.

Article by
Hugh Gosling

4th August 2021

From: Healthcare



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