Sanofi is betting the genetic technology behind the fast development of two highly effective coronavirus shots last year will lead to vaccines for other viruses as well as drugs for diseases of the lung and liver, announcing Tuesday a deal to buy research partner Translate Bio for $3.2 billion.
The acquisition is the latest sign large pharmaceutical companies view messenger RNA, which BioNTech and Moderna used to create the COVID-19 vaccines now cleared for use in dozens of countries, as a crucial drugmaking platform.
Pfizer partnered with BioNTech early on in the pandemic and aims to develop mRNA vaccines for other infectious diseases, beginning with influenza. GlaxoSmithKline is working with German mRNA specialist CureVac, while the executive chairman of Novartis recently said his company was considering investment in the technology, too. READ MORE
by Ned Pagliarulo
The deal, announced Wednesday, has Sanofi paying $9.50 per share in cash for Kadmon, a roughly 77% premium to the biotech’s Tuesday closing price and 113% more than its average trading price over the last two months.
RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, has long been a top target for vaccine developers. While companies have suffered high-profile trial failures over the years, vaccines are now advancing through late-stage testing and could launch in 2023, SVB Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges wrote to clients this week.
By monitoring which areas of the brain responded to localized electrical stimulation, scientists from the Google Research Brain Team and Mayo Clinic developed an artificial intelligence algorithm to map out the structure of brain networks.