It’s investment day for Sanofi. And as the spotlight of health news is on the coronavirus, the French group has decided to put its beads in messenger RNA. Sanofi announced on Tuesday the purchase for 3.2 billion dollars of the American Translate Bio, a specialist in this innovative technology used in particular in vaccines against Covid 19.
“Sanofi will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Translate Bio [dans] a cash transaction valued approximately at 3.2 billion dollars, or some 2.7 billion euros, indicates in a press release the French pharmaceutical giant, which is already working closely with the American.
Perspectives beyond the coronavirus
Messenger RNA is one of the most innovative technologies to have emerged in the pharmaceutical industry in recent years. It experienced a sharp acceleration with the Covid-19 crisis, which saw the authorization of the first vaccines based on this principle, in this case those from BioNTech laboratories in collaboration with Pfizer and Moderna. Sanofi, itself, 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 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 – including 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.