Germany's CureVac and Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines arm of Sanofi, have strengthened their partnership with a new deal that gives the latter rights to a new mRNA vaccine.

Sanofi Pasteur has exercised its option for exclusive global rights to develop and commercialise the jab against an undisclosed pathogen, in a deal that could add more than 150 million euros to CureVac's coffers. 

All research, development, manufacturing and commercialisation activities will be funded by the French group, and it will pay CureVac an undisclosed upfront payment as well as additional milestone payments for achieving several clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones, as well as royalty payments associated with products sales of RNActive vaccines.

The new deal broadens an alliance formed back in 2011, when the companies signed a license option agreement for several predefined pathogens. 


RNActive vaccines are a novel technology for the generation and production of safe, efficacious and cost-effective mRNA-based vaccines protected against elevated temperature, as well as inadvertent freezing.

According to Ingmar Hoerr, CureVac's chief executive, the approach "shows significant advantages for the development of vaccines, particularly for infectious diseases, such as thermostability and low cost of goods after up-scaling.”

"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," added ”Nicolas Burdin, Head of Discovery Research at Sanofi Pasteur.