Sanofi Acquires Tidal Therapeutics and its Novel mRNA-based Research Platform

French pharma giant Sanofi is set to acquire Tidal Therapeutics for $470m, adding the biotech’s novel mRNA-based research platform with applications in oncology, immunology, and other disease areas to its portfolio.

Revolutionary mRNA-based platform for in vivo immune cells reprogramming

Sanofi announced the acquisition of Tidal Therapeutics, a privately held, pre-clinical stage biotech company with a revolutionary mRNA-based platform for in vivo immune cells reprogramming. Sanofi is focused on expanding its scientific research potential in immuno-oncology and inflammatory diseases, utilising the novel mRNA-based technology which could also advance its research ability in other disease areas as well.

Cambridge startup Tidal Therapeutics uses a unique mRNA-based technology for in vivo reprogramming of immune cells. The platform is built on patented nanoparticles that deliver mRNA (messages) to reprogram immune cells inside the body. This novel method delivers mRNA cargos selectively to designated types of cells in the body, with initial applications targeting specific types of immune cells.

Sanofi pays $160 million upfront

Sanofi has already paid $160 million upfront for Tidal Therapeutics despite it still being in the preclinical phase and will further spend up to $310 million once specific milestones have been achieved.

Frank Nestle, Global Head of Research and Chief Scientific Officer at Sanofi stated:

“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. With further development, we believe that the underlying mRNA targeting platform has the potential to create disruptive therapeutic approaches for wide-scale adoption as we work to improve patient outcome across a variety of oncology and autoimmune conditions.”

With the potential for increased safety, outpatient dosing, and repeat dosing, the in vivo approach is intended to have comparable effectiveness to existing ex vivo approaches where immune cells are genetically engineered to maximize their therapeutic properties (such as chimeric antigen receptor CAR-expressing T-cells). At present, Tidal Therapeutics has ongoing pre-clinical programs including in vivo re-programming of T cells for cancer indications.

Ulrik Nielsen, President and CEO, Tidal Therapeutics said:

“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.”

More about Tidal Therapeutics

Tidal Therapeutics is a preclinical biotech company based at LabCentral in Cambridge, MA. The company is focused on developing nanoparticles that deliver mRNA to reprogram immune cells inside the body with applications in oncology and immune diseases. The company was seeded by Mission BioCapital, and joined by RA Capital, New Enterprise Associates, the Myeloma Investment Fund, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation’s venture philanthropy, MRL Ventures, and AbbVie Ventures.

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