Sanofi expedites its vaccine timeline, strikes $2.3B deal with Translate Bio

Sanofi, which previously reported slower timelines than most other drugmakers working on COVID-19 vaccines, now purports it may receive approval for two vaccines in 2021, according to STAT.

Phase 1/2 for the vaccine Sanofi is developing with GSK, which is recombinant and uses the same approach as its flu vaccine, will begin in September instead of December. 

"We are the only vaccine in the race that's off a proven platform that works in scale," Paul Hudson, Sanofi's CEO, told STAT.

Sanofi will manufacture 100 million doses of the recombinant vaccine by the end of 2020 and 1 billion doses in 2021, according to John Shiver, PhD, Sanofi's senior vice president for global vaccines. The recombinant vaccine is expected to reach the market before the vaccine Sanofi is working on with Translate Bio.

Sanofi also scaled up its partnership with Translate Bio June 23, securing an exclusive license for mRNA vaccines produced by Translate Bio for all infectious disease areas. Under the deal, which could be worth up to $2.3 billion, Sanofi pays Translation Bio $300 million up front and buys $125 million in company stock. 

Preclinical testing is underway for multiple mRNA vaccine candidates developed by Sanofi and Translate Bio. They hope to select a prime candidate and launch an in-person study during the fourth quarter.

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