Sanofi definitely wants its share of messenger RNA.
After announcing major investments, the French pharmaceutical giant is further accelerating its development with the multi-billion euro acquisition of Translate Bio, an American specialist in messenger RNA, a very high-profile technological innovation since the Covid-19 crisis .
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"Sanofi will acquire Translate Bio and accelerate the deployment of mRNA technology in the development of vaccines and therapeutic agents," the Frenchman announced in a press release on Tuesday.
The operation, which must be concluded in the third quarter, values Translate Bio 3.2 billion dollars, or 2.7 billion euros.
The American is in the same niche as his compatriot Moderna and the German BioNTech, names that the general public discovered during the Covid-19 crisis.
They all bet on messenger RNA.
This technology has seen rapid development with the coronavirus pandemic, when it was previously considered an uncertain bet.
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The vaccines developed by BioNTech - with the American Pfizer - and Moderna were among the first to be authorized against Covid-19 and are, for the time being, the most effective.
Treating cancer or a rare disease with messenger RNA
Sanofi is already working with Translate Bio to develop a messenger RNA vaccine against Covid-19.
But the promises of this technology far exceed the coronavirus alone.
"Our goal is to unleash the potential of messenger RNA in other strategic areas, such as immunology, oncology", that is to say the treatment of cancers, "and rare diseases, in addition vaccines ”, summarizes in the press release Paul Hudson, CEO of Sanofi.
The French giant had already, a few weeks ago, announced a vast program of investments in messenger RNA - two billion euros by 2025 - with the creation of a specialized research center.
He intends to develop several vaccines, targeting infectious diseases, but remains discreet about his exact ambitions.
Sanofi has, however, already launched initial trials with Translate Bio for a seasonal flu vaccine, an announcement made in June.