As part of Sanofi’s endeavor to accelerate the application of messenger RNA (mRNA) to develop therapeutics and vaccines, the company has entered into a definitive agreement with Translate Bio, a clinical-stage mRNA therapeutics company, under which Sanofi will acquire all outstanding shares of Translate Bio for $38.00 per share in cash, which represents a total equity value of approximately $3.2 billion (on a fully diluted basis). The Sanofi and Translate Bio Boards of Directors unanimously approved the transaction.
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 Paul Hudson, Sanofi Chief Executive Officer. – A fully owned platform allows us to develop additional opportunities in the fast-evolving mRNA space. We will also be able to accelerate our existing partnered programs already under development. Our goal is to unlock the potential of mRNA in other strategic areas such as immunology, oncology, and rare diseases in addition to vaccines.
In June 2018, Sanofi and Translate Bio entered into a collaboration and exclusive license agreement to develop mRNA vaccines which was further expanded in 2020 to broadly address current and future infectious diseases. There are two ongoing mRNA vaccine clinical trials under the collaboration, the COVID-19 vaccine Phase 1/2 study with results expected in Q3 2021 and the mRNA seasonal influenza vaccine Phase 1 trial with results due in Q4 2021. The acquisition builds on Sanofi’s establishment of a first-of-its kind vaccines mRNA Center of Excellence.
On the therapeutic side, Translate Bio has an early-stage pipeline in cystic fibrosis and other rare pulmonary diseases. In addition, discovery work is ongoing in diseases that affect the liver, and Translate Bio’s MRTTM platform may be applied to various classes of treatments, such as therapeutic antibodies or vaccines in areas such as oncology. Sanofi’s recent acquisition of Tidal Therapeutics expanded the company’s mRNA research capabilities in both immuno-oncology and inflammatory diseases. The Translate Bio acquisition further accelerates Sanofi’s efforts to develop transformative medicines using mRNA technology.