Sanofi plants its foot firmly in mRNA space with Translate Bio buy

Aug. 3, 2021

Sanofi announced this week that it is acquiring Translate Bio, a U.S.-based mRNA drug developer, for $3.2 billion.

The companies have already teamed up to co-develop mRNA vaccines for infectious diseases in a partnership that started in 2018. In 2020, the deal was expanded to include milestones for a COVID-19 vaccine in development and other payments potentially totaling near $2 billion.

The companies also launched a phase 1 trial for an influenza vaccine in June. 

Under the new agreement, Sanofi will not only acquire Translate’s mRNA platform for infectious diseases, but other potential therapies as well. Translate’s most advanced product in its pipeline is for an mRNA therapy that treats cystic fibrosis. (Interim data from a phase 1/2 study recently showed that the drug lacked efficacy, but Translate said that trials are ongoing.) 

Sanofi has also said that overall, it plans to invest $425 million a year in mRNA.