TUBINGEN,Germany—CureVac GmbH, a leader in microRNA-based vaccination technologies, hasannounced the signing of several agreements with Sanofi Pasteur S.A., thevaccines division of Sanofi. Per the terms of the agreements, CureVac andSanofi Pasteur will further develop and apply CureVac's proprietary RNActivetechnology platform to the development of new vaccines for several infectiousdiseases.
CureVac has alsoentered into a partnership with Sanofi Pasteur and In-Cell-Art S.A.S. TheDefense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected a researchproposal involving a collaboration among the three organizations with a totalfunding of $33.1 million. In the project, which will run four years, the threecompanies will advance key aspects of the RNAactive technology platform andwill evaluate several vaccine candidates in several relevant disease models. Inaddition, CureVac and Sanofi Pasteur have signed an option agreement withpre-agreed license terms for several pre-defined pathogens, and Sanofi'soptions rights are tied to the fulfillment of certain agreed-upon criteriarelating to the DARPA project. CureVac will retain the rights to its coredevelopment programs as well as its background technology for pathogens outsideof those in Sanofi's option.
"The opportunity tocollaborate with a world-leading vaccine company such as Sanofi Pasteur is anexciting step as we continue to demonstrate in both the commercial anddefense-related settings the broad applicability and versatility of ourRNActive technology platform, which may becomegame-changing for the vaccine field," Karl-Josef Kallen, Head of R&D atCureVac, said in a press release.
Per the terms ofthe agreements, CureVac may receive an upfront payment for each pathogen, aswell as research funding and payments for achieving certain clinical,regulatory and commercial milestones. For each of the pathogens that are subject to Sanofi Pasteur's option,the agreement could consist of up to €101.5 million ($137.2 million) forCureVac in upfront and milestone payments if Sanofi develops a prophylactic ora therapeutic vaccine, in addition to tiered royalties on sales of RNActivevaccines. CureVac could stand to receive up to €150.5 million ($203.4 million) if Sanofi Pasteurdevelops both a prophylactic and a therapeutic vaccine. Sanofi Pasteur will beresponsible for funding all research and development activities, and in returnwill hold exclusive marketing rights worldwide for RNActive vaccines against thepathogens for which it has exercised its option.
"We are verypleased that Sanofi Pasteur has recognized the full potential of our RNActive technology platform for the development ofvaccines particularly for infectious diseases," Ingmar Hoerr, Chief ExecutiveOfficer of CureVac, said in a press release. "This multi-year collaborationwill allow us to significantly strengthen our technology platform and to scaleit up for commercial vaccination purposes."
SOURCE: CureVac press release