Sanofi’s scaled-up mRNA development efforts, backed by a $2.2 billion commitment made public in June of last year, are now coming to fruition, with around half of those funds now allocated for transforming the France-based pharma’s home territory into a “pioneer mRNA nation,” the company contends.
Sanofi recently broke ground in construction of its Evolutive Vaccine Facility, a fully digitalized production site announced in 2021 that the company says will “transform the way we make vaccines and treatments.” The facility, which will act as a fulcrum for existing facilities in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Lyon, France, will bolster R&D efforts and production in addition to supporting a full mRNA value chain. Other parts of the funding will be doled out in the next few years to further flesh out Sanofi’s facilities and programs for mRNA advancement.
The company’s standing in this quickly growing field has risen dramatically of late, with acquisitions of nanoparticle-developer Tidal Therapeutics and mRNA-vaccine partner Translate Bio, which worked on COVID-19 and influenza vaccines with Sanofi before the buyout. Months after the latter acquisition, Sanofi reported promising interim data from Phase I/II studies of its initial mRNA vaccine candidate. The sheer market strength of Moderna as well as Pfizer/BioNTech, however, forced Sanofi to repurpose its study data and mRNA assets for different indications such as influenza and other infectious diseases.