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Sanofi to buy acne specialist Origimm

The acquisition brings Origimm’s ORI-001 vaccine candidate against acne vulgaris into Sanofi’s vaccine pipeline, building its strength in mRNA technology

Sanofi

Following the success of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, mRNA technology is increasingly being seen as the future of immunotherapy, with many pharmaceutical companies investing in the area.

Sanofi is the latest to get out its chequebook with the announcement that it is to acquire Austrian skin disease specialist Origimm Biotechnology and its promising ORI-001 vaccine against acne vulgaris.

The deal will also allow Paris-based Sanofi to leverage the company’s next-generation mRNA platform to unlock potential of vaccine-candidate.

Origimm (Origins of Immunity) specialises in the skin microbiome, the large and diverse collection of bacteria, fungi and viruses that inhabit the human skin. Since 2012 it has focused on vaccine antigens and drug targets for the prevention and treatment of diseases and infections associated with skin-colonising microbes.

Its first therapeutic vaccine candidate, ORI-001, based on recombinant proteins, entered preliminary clinical studies for acne vulgaris earlier this year. Sanofi has also announced that it is ‘working to develop additional antigen versions’ and expects to ‘leverage its next-generation mRNA platform’ in a phase1/2 trial in 2023.

Acne is a widespread and stigmatising condition for millions of people globally, causing substantial psychological burden for teenagers but also adults, over 10% of whom still experiencing acne after age 50, said Roche. The Cutibacterium acnes bacterium plays a central role in the development of moderate to severe acne.

“The acquisition of Origimm further broadens our vaccines R&D pipeline with a first vaccine candidate against acne, a high medical need for millions of teenagers and adults,” said Thomas Triomphe, head of Sanofi Pasteur. “Welcoming Origimm within Sanofi expands our area of expertise by bringing extensive know-how in the field of skin microbiome and skin immunology. We look forward to unlocking the full potential of this candidate.”

Founder, CEO and chief scientific officer of Origimm Sanya Selak said that the partnership with Sanofi will “strive to [create] a paradigm shift in treatment of skin diseases and many other microbiome-associated disorders and infections, for which current medical solutions are inadequate”.

The acquisition is expected to close in early December.

Article by
Hugh Gosling

2nd December 2021

From: Healthcare

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