Sanofi acquires mRNA specialist Tidal Therapeutics

The acquisition will allow Sanofi to take advantage of an mRNA-based research platform with applications in oncology, immunology, and other disease areas

Sanofi has acquired Tidal Therapeutics, a pre-clinical stage biotech company with an mRNA-based approach for in vivo reprogramming of immune cells. The technology platform will expand Sanofi’s research capabilities in both immuno-oncology and inflammatory diseases, while likely having applicability to other disease areas as well, the company says. Sanofi acquired Tidal Therapeutics for an upfront payment of $160 m and up to $310 m on the achievement of certain milestones.

“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 CSO at Sanofi. “We believe that the underlying mRNA targeting platform will create disruptive therapeutic approaches across a variety of oncology and autoimmune conditions.”

Tidal Therapeutics uses an mRNA-based approach to in vivo reprogramming of immune cells. The technology is based on nanoparticles that deliver mRNA messages to reprogram immune cells inside the body. The technology delivers mRNA cargos selectively to designated types of cells in the body, with initial applications targeting specific types of immune cells. The in vivo approach is designed to provide similar efficacy to current ex vivo (outside the body) approaches where immune cells are genetically modified to enhance their therapeutic properties (such as chimeric antigen receptor [CAR]-expressing T-cells), with the potential for improved safety, outpatient dosing, and repeat dosing. Tidal Therapeutics has ongoing pre-clinical programs including in vivo re-programming of T cells or other types of immune cells for cancer indications.

“Teaming up with Sanofi gives us the opportunity to further develop our unique platform and rapidly apply it to ultimately help patients across a range of diseases,” said Ulrik Nielsen, President and CEO, Tidal Therapeutics.

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