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Sanofi vaccines division Sanofi Pasteur has partnered with Translate Bio for the development of a messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine against Covid-19.

Translate Bio has already started the production of several mRNA constructs. The company will leverage its mRNA platform for the discovery, design and manufacture of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates.

Sanofi will contribute via its vaccine expertise and external research networks support. The aim is to progress vaccine candidates for further development.

Translate Bio has created 100g single-batch production using its mRNA therapeutics platform, while a separate manufacturing space is being built by a contract manufacturing partner to facilitate at least two 250g batches each month.

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Translate Bio CEO Ronald Renaud said: “Our collaborative efforts to combat Covid-19 will leverage Translate Bio’s innovative mRNA platform as well as Sanofi’s vaccine expertise and ongoing Covid-19 research with the goal of advancing a novel mRNA vaccine rapidly to the clinic.”

The alliance builds on an ongoing agreement signed by the companies in 2018 to develop mRNA vaccines for infectious diseases.

Sanofi Vaccines global head David Loew said: “We are committed to leveraging different ways to address the Covid-19 public health crisis by testing treatments, as well as two vaccines using different platforms. We believe the more approaches we explore, the better our likelihood of success in achieving this goal.

“Having sufficient installed capacity will be key to satisfy the strong demand for vaccines we will probably see and based on the experience we’ve had under the collaboration to date, we believe the Translate Bio mRNA platform could help us meet that need.”

Last month, Sanofi Pasteur partnered with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to develop a recombinant, protein-based vaccine candidate for Covid-19.

Furthermore, Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals launched a clinical programme of rheumatoid arthritis drug Kevzara to treat hospitalised patients with severe Covid-19.