Sanofi sharp­ens fo­cus on mR­NA for can­cer with eq­ui­ty in­vest­ment in Ger­many's BioN­Tech

Sanofi is beef­ing up its bet on mes­sen­ger RNA tech­nol­o­gy. Hav­ing al­ready set up al­liances with Ron Re­naud’s Trans­late Bio, and Ger­many’s Cure­Vac and BioN­Tech, the French drug­mak­er on Thurs­day said it was mak­ing an 80 mil­lion eu­ro (rough­ly $91.5 mil­lion) eq­ui­ty in­vest­ment in Mainz-based BioN­Tech, build­ing on the up to $1.5 bil­lion pact the two signed in 2015.

In late 2015, Sanofi gave BioN­Tech $60 mil­lion for the rights to 5 im­munother­a­pies de­vel­oped out of BioN­Tech’s mR­NA plat­form, and the French vac­cine mak­er pledged up to an ad­di­tion­al $300 mil­lion per pro­gram in mile­stone pay­ments. To­day, BioN­Tech said one of those can­di­dates will en­ter the clin­ic and the two part­ners will co-de­vel­op the drug in pa­tients with mul­ti­ple sol­id tu­mors. The un­spec­i­fied ex­per­i­men­tal ther­a­py is de­signed to be in­ject­ed di­rect­ly in­to the tu­mor, sub­vert­ing the tox­i­c­i­ty as­so­ci­at­ed with sys­temic ad­min­is­tra­tion.

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