TÜBINGEN, Germany, July 1, 2014 – CureVac, a German clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced the execution of an exclusive license agreement with Sanofi Pasteur S.A., the vaccines division of Sanofi (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY), to develop and commercialize an mRNA-based vaccine against an undisclosed pathogen.
In 2011, CureVac and Sanofi Pasteur signed a collaboration and license option agreement for several pre-defined pathogens. CureVac met all pre-agreed milestones and acceptance criteria relating to these agreements, and therefore Sanofi Pasteur exercised its first option and extended its exclusive and non-exclusive options on all five pathogens.
Under the commercial license agreement, Sanofi Pasteur will fund all research, development, manufacturing and commercialization activities and will have exclusive worldwide marketing rights for the RNActive® vaccine. CureVac will receive an undisclosed upfront payment from Sanofi Pasteur for the option exercise and an additional payment for extending the option term for the other pathogens.
In addition, CureVac is eligible for additional milestone payments up to €150.5 million for achieving several clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones, as well as royalty payments associated with products sales of RNActive® vaccines.
“Sanofi Pasteur’s basic objective of finding new vaccine solutions to address patients’ needs is furthered by our collaboration with CureVac,” comments 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,” says Ingmar Hoerr, CEO 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.”
The exclusive license agreement for the development and commercialization of an mRNA-based vaccine is also a result of the positive and still ongoing four-year $33.1 million research collaboration of CureVac with Sanofi Pasteur and In-Cell-Art, co-funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), as announced in November 2011. Additional details of the collaboration were not disclosed.