Translate Bio, Inc. (NASDAQ: TBIO) is a clinical-stage mRNA therapeutics company with a focus on development of treatments for diseases caused by protein or gene dysfunction. Shares surged 42.21% through early trading on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. Over the past three months, Translate Bio has seen an average daily volume of 694,850 shares. However, through Tuesday morning, already 7.63 million shares have traded hands, equating to $176.17 million shares in dollar volume.
Shares surged Tuesday morning after Translate Bio announced it will expand its 2018 collaboration and license agreement for the development of mRNA vaccines for infectious diseases with Sanofi Pasteur. Sanofi Pasteur is the vaccine business unit of Sanofi, a global biopharmaceutical company.
In exchange for Sanofi receiving all exclusive worldwide rights for any vaccines developed utilizing TBIO’s technology, Translate Bio will receive an upfront payment of $425 million which will be made up of a $300 million cash payment and a private placement investment of $125 million in common stock at a share price of $25.59. This represents a 50% premium over the average price of the 20 days before the signing of the agreement.
Translate Bio will also be eligible to receive potential future milestones up to $1.9 billion, including $450 million in milestones from the existing 2018 agreement. TBIO anticipates receiving $360 million in milestones over the next couple years. Additionally, Translate Bio will receive tiered royalties based off of worldwide sales of any developed vaccines.
Under the agreement, Translate Bio will discover, design, and manufacture vaccine candidates using its mRNA platform and transfer technology and processes to Sanofi. The Paris-based health giant will provides its vaccine expertise to accelerate those candidates through development.
The collaboration is already working on several COVID-19 vaccine candidates that are currently in vivo. The companies have the goal of beginning human-based clinical trials during the fourth quarter of 2020. In addition, a mRNA vaccine development candidate for influenza is in pre-clinical trials with clinical trials anticipated to commence in the middle of 2021. There are other candidates in development including a viral pathogen and a bacterial pathogen.
Ronald Renaud, CEO of TBIO, commented, “Translate Bio will also be well positioned financially to continue to build upon our internal capabilities with a focus on advancing innovations in platform discovery and on the development of ongoing and additional preclinical therapeutic programs as we aim to bring multiple programs towards clinical development.”
Article By: Andrew Rego