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New mRNA Vaccine Interest

The French drugmaker Sanofi plans to invest €400 million (US $477 million) a year into mRNA vaccine research, according to the Wall Street Journal.

It adds that the mRNA vaccines developed COVID-19 pandemic illustrated to the company the value of the approach. "During the COVID-19 pandemic, mRNA technologies demonstrated potential to deliver new vaccines faster than ever before," Jean-François Toussaint, the head of research and development at Sanofi Pasteur, says in a statement.

The Journal notes that the mRNA vaccine field had been the purview of small companies – like Moderna and BioNTech, which developed SARS-CoV-2 vaccine – as their development requires different tools than traditional vaccine work and had not, but that now larger pharmaceutical firms like Sanofi, but also Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline are expanding into the field.

Sanofi says it plans to establish an mRNA vaccine research center with 400 employees and that the center will help accelerate the development of mRNA vaccines develop through its collaboration with Translate Bio.

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.