) and Germany-based CureVac entered into an agreement for the
development and commercialization of an mRNA-based vaccine against
an undisclosed pathogen.
CureVac and Sanofi had inked a deal in 2011 for several pre-defined
pathogens. CureVac met all pre-agreed milestones and acceptance
criteria mentioned in the agreement. Thus, Sanofi exercised its
first option and extended the exclusive and non-exclusive options
on all five pathogens.
Sanofi will make an undisclosed upfront payment to CureVac for
exercising the option and an additional payment for extending the
option term for the other pathogens. CureVac is also eligible to
receive additional milestone payments up to €150.5 million based on
the achievement of certain clinical, regulatory and commercial
As per the terms of the deal, Sanofi will fund all research,
development, manufacturing and commercialization activities and
will have exclusive worldwide marketing rights to the RNActive
vaccine. We note that RNActive vaccines are a new technology to
produce safe, efficacious and cost-effective mRNA-based vaccines
that are protected against elevated temperature and inadvertent
freezing. CureVac will also receive royalties on net sales of
We note that Sanofi possesses one of the world's leading vaccine
operations with total sales of €3.7 billion in 2013. The company's
portfolio includes pediatric vaccines, influenza vaccines, adult
and adolescent booster vaccines, meningitis vaccines, and travel
and endemic vaccines. Sanofi also has a strong position in both
seasonal and pre-pandemic influenza vaccines. Sanofi continues to
expand its vaccine business. We expect a significant ramp in
vaccine sales over the next several years.
Sanofi carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in
the health care sector include
Biogen Idec Inc.
ANI Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
). All these stocks hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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