Sanofi gains mRNA immunotherapy platform with Tidal Therapeutics acquisition
The value of the transaction could reach up to $470m: with the French pharmaceutical giant making an upfront payment of $160m, followed by up to $310m of milestone payments.
Sanofi says that Tidal Therapeutic’s ‘off-the-shelf’ approach could help expand the availability of CAR-T cell therapy to a much larger patient population.
Sanofi will use the platform to expand its research capabilities in immuno-oncology and inflammatory diseases, while noting that it is likely to have ‘broad applicability’ to other disease areas as well.
In vivo cell reprogramming
Founded in 2019, Tidal Therapeutics is a preclinical biotech seeded by Mission BioCapital and backed by AbbVie Ventures, RA Capital, New Enterprise Associates, the Myeloma Investment Fund and MRL Ventures.
The biotech uses a novel mRNA-based approach to in vivo reprogramming of immune cells. The technology is based on proprietary nanoparticles that deliver mRNA to selectively targeted immune cells in the body and reprogram them.
The in vivo approach is designed to provide similar efficacy to current ex vivo approaches (where immune cells are genetically modified to enhance their therapeutic properties - such as chimeric antigen receptor CAR-expressing T-cells). However, an in vivo approach offers the potential for ‘improved safety, outpatient dosing, and repeat dosing’, according to the companies.
Currently, Tidal Therapeutics has ongoing pre-clinical programs including in vivo re-programming of T cells or other types of immune cells for cancer indications.
“We anticipate that this next generation, off-the-shelf approach has the potential to bring CAR-T cell therapy to a much broader patient population,” said Frank Nestle, Global Head of Research and Chief Scientific Officer at Sanofi.
“We believe that the underlying mRNA targeting platform will create disruptive therapeutic approaches across a variety of oncology and autoimmune conditions.”