Sanofi gains mRNA immunotherapy platform with Tidal Therapeutics acquisition

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Sanofi Cell therapies mRNA

Sanofi has acquired Cambridge, Massachusetts biotech Tidal Therapeutics: gaining its novel mRNA-based approach for in vivo reprogramming of immune cells.

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.”

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