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.