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CureVac, Sanofi Pasteur and In-Cell-Art Collaborate on a $33.1 Million Project Co-Funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

4-year collaboration in field of prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines for infectious diseases


CureVac GmbH announced the signing of several agreements with Sanofi Pasteur S.A., the vaccines division of Sanofi. Under these agreements, CureVac and Sanofi Pasteur will further develop and apply CureVac’s proprietary RNActive® technology platform to the development of vaccines against several infectious diseases.

A research proposal with total funding of $33.1 million involving a collaboration among CureVac, Sanofi Pasteur (including Sanofi Pasteur VaxDesign Corp.) and In-Cell-Art S.A.S., a French biotech company contributing its nanoparticle technology, has been selected by DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (an agency of the United States Department of Defense). In this 4-year project, CureVac and the other parties to the collaboration will further advance key aspects of CureVac’s RNActive® technology platform and will evaluate several vaccine candidates in a number of relevant disease models

Parallel to the collaboration agreements, CureVac and Sanofi Pasteur have also signed an option agreement with pre-agreed license terms for several pre-defined pathogens. Sanofi Pasteur’s option rights are linked to fulfillment of certain agreed acceptance criteria relating to the DARPA project. CureVac retains the rights to its own core development programs and to all of its background technology for any other pathogens outside those within the Sanofi Pasteur option.

“We are very pleased that Sanofi Pasteur has recognized the full potential of our RNActive® technology platform for the development of vaccines particularly for infectious diseases. This multi-year collaboration will allow us to significantly strengthen our technology platform and to scale it up for commercial vaccination purposes,” says Ingmar Hoerr, CEO of CureVac. “The opportunity to collaborate with a world-leading vaccine company such as Sanofi Pasteur is an exciting step as we continue to demonstrate in both the commercial and defense-related settings the broad applicability and versatility of our RNActive® technology platform, which may become game changing for the vaccine field,” adds Karl-Josef Kallen, Head of R&D at CureVac.

Under the terms of the license agreements, CureVac may receive an upfront payment from Sanofi Pasteur for each pathogen, research funding and payments for achieving several clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones. For each pathogen subject to Sanofi Pasteur’s option, the agreements could encompass up to €101.5 million for CureVac in upfront and milestone payments in addition to tiered royalties on sales of RNActive® vaccines if Sanofi Pasteur develops a prophylactic or a therapeutic vaccine against such pathogen and up to €150.5 million if Sanofi-Pasteur develops both a prophylactic and a therapeutic vaccine. Under the license agreements, Sanofi Pasteur will fund all research and development activities and will have exclusive marketing rights worldwide for RNActive® vaccines against the pathogens for which Sanofi Pasteur has exercised the option.

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