CureVac, a German biopharma company, has entered an exclusive license agreement with Sanofi Pasteur S.A., the vaccines division of Sanofi, to develop and commercialize an mRNA-based vaccine for an undisclosed target.
Sanofi Pasteur will fund all R&D, manufacturing and commercialization activities and will have exclusive worldwide marketing rights for the RNActive vaccine. CureVac will receive an upfront and additional payment for extending the option term for the other pathogens. CureVac is also eligible for additional milestone payments of as much as €150.5 million for clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones, as well as royalties on sales of RNActive vaccines.
The companies entered a collaboration and license agreement for several pre-defined pathogens in 2011. CureVac has met all milestones and criteria relating to the agreements and Sanofi Pasteur exercised its first option and extended its exclusive and non-exclusive options on five pathogens.
"Sanofi Pasteur's basic objective of finding new vaccine solutions to address patients' needs is furthered by our collaboration with CureVac," said Nicolas Burdin, head of Discovery Research at Sanofi Pasteur in France. "Accessing CureVac's innovative mRNA technology may allow Sanofi Pasteur to exploit a platform that can be more broadly applicable across indications to develop vaccines, as the RNActive technology is expected to complement conventional technologies."
"We are very pleased that our RNActive technology platform has reached all significant milestones in this important collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur, the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines," said Ingmar Hoerr, chief executive officer of CureVac. "Our mRNA-based approach shows significant advantages for the development of vaccines, particularly for infectious diseases, such as thermostability and low cost of goods after up-scaling."